“The number of calls per day since launching Skype Translator has increased by 400 percent.”
Whether or not you use Skype for personal use, meeting planners should seriously start considering Microsoft’s Skype for Business platform this year for virtual events—especially ones with a global audience. Piggybacking its launch of Skype Translator last year, Microsoft will start to roll out its live captioning feature for meeting broadcasts in 40 languages.
For about $5 per user per month, Skype for Business differs from the standard version of the communication app as it allows for up to 250 people on a call versus the 25 person limit on standard Skype. Outlook integration, enterprise-grade security and the ability to manage employee accounts also set it apart.
Additionally, Skype Meeting broadcasts will become more global by using Microsoft’s Bing Translator technology, according to PC World. Right now, Skype Meeting allows a small number of speakers to broadcast a presentation to up to 10,000 viewers, with viewers only being able to hear the presentation in the language that the speaker is using. By using Microsoft’s Bing Translator technology, however, speakers will talk in one of the supported native languages, and viewers will be able to see computer-generated text translation of what’s being said.
While the feature will help bridge the language-barrier gap, it will also help hearing-impaired users who can now get live caption feeds sent over Skype Meeting Broadcast. This latest feature is similar to Translator, which Skype introduced to consumers last year via live, person-to-person transcriptions in calls and text messages. According to the Skype blog, the number of calls per day since launching Skype Translator has increased by 400 percent. What could that mean for the meetings industry?