Google has announced that its Live Captions feature will be rolled out to most Chrome OS devices within the coming weeks. This is a great win for accessibility.
The new feature was introduced to Chrome Browser last month, providing Chrome users with real-time, automatic captions for any audio media.
“These captions help make online content more accessible, whether you’re in a noisy environment, trying to keep the volume down, or are hard of hearing,” Google said of the feature.
Once Live Captions is rolled out to your device, all users need to do is enable the new feature to reap the benefits. To turn it on, go to Chromebook settings, then “Accessibility.”
Thankfully, the feature also works offline. This means audio and video files can be captioned, even if you’re operating without a solid internet connection.
The feature is excellent for anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing, as well as anyone who forgot their headphones on the train.
“Unfortunately, captions aren’t always available for every piece of content. Now with Live Caption on Chrome, you can automatically generate real-time captions for media with audio on your browser,” Google said when the feature at launch.
“It works across social and video sites, podcasts and radio content, personal video libraries (such as Google Photos), embedded video players, and most web-based video or audio chat services.”
At this point, captions should be a standard for any audio-based content, but it’s nice to know that the new feature will be available to support those who need it when it wouldn’t otherwise be available.
Unfortunately, the feature only supports English at the moment, but more languages will be rolled out in the coming months.
Live Captions is one of a number of new features coming to Chromebooks as part of the company’s recent announcement including a new scanning feature that is sure to be a godsend at tax time.