Otter.ai announces Zoom live video captioning to enhance virtual collaboration

The company notes that this feature could reduce the risk of workplace miscommunication and increase telecommuter productivity and inclusiveness in the remote work era.

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Image: iStock/fizkes

In a matter of months, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the modern workplace, the way students approach education, and more. Millions of people are telecommuting to the virtual office and many schools and universities continue to operate remotely to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 this fall. At the same, time some companies have made long-term commitments to remote work in the years ahead.

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To enhance collaboration from afar a number of organizations are using video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Teams. These services offer all-in-one team communication in lieu of the traditional in-person office environment. On Thursday, Otter.ai announced it was launching live video captioning capabilities for webinars and video conference calls to assist remote workers, students, and more.

"Live video captioning is another feature which makes Otter Live Notes a must-have business communications and collaboration product," said Sam Liang, CEO, and founder of Otter.ai in a press release. "By adding this new feature, Otter.ai removes the significant problem of miscommunication from remote work, heightening organizations' productivity and efficiency."

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Increasing productivity and reducing the risk of miscommunication

Live video captioning is a helpful way to maintain a transcript of day-to-day meetings, one-on-one interviews, and more. With a full reading of these interactions, participants can look back on these notes for personal reference and potentially reduce the risk of miscommunication. In the press release, Otter.ai noted the financial costs of workplace miscommunication. In a survey involving corporations with 100,000 employees, barriers to communication lead to decreased productivity that cost companies more than $62 million on average annually, according to a 2011 Holmes report.

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Boosting workplace inclusivity

Aside from providing live transcripts to ensure remote teams are on the same page, Otter.ai explained that these captioning capabilities will also enable companies to remain in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and "accessibility requirements, fostering a more inclusive workplace."

This latest Otter.ai video conferencing feature follows up on the company's other recent releases designed to enhance the remote work experience such as Otter Live Notes and Otter For Events. Otter Live Notes allows Zoom meeting attendees to access live video call transcripts, and Otter For Events is designed to capture communication from virtual meetings and webinars to create live transcripts. Otter.ai's new video captioning feature is now available on Otter for Business and Zoom Pro and higher subscription packages.

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