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FreeCaption - Release Notes

v 1.0.1

What is FreeCaption, and Why?

FreeCaption is software intended to assist the deaf and the hearing impaired in their day to day lives when a sign language is not known by the other user. It is built on the Web Speech API, although not a W3C standard it is implemented in both Google Chrome (various Windows, Linux, Mac, Chromebook and Android distributions) and Amazon Silk (Fire OS). FreeCaption is available at https://convert-to-app.com, on the Google Play Store (although lacks Speech Synthesis) and in the Chrome Web Store.

Basic Use

When you first launch FreeCaption, it is already listening. Typically, the microphone of the device has to be very close to the person talking. You may find it's useful to actually hand them your phone and speak into it as if there was someone on the other end.

To have FreeCaption stop listening, click the Microphone icon.

To use speech synthesis, type your message into the second large box and click enter or the speaker button. The speaker icon will turn yellow when it's speaking aloud. Make sure your volume is turned up.

There are thirty canned response fields available. 'Yes', 'No', 'Maybe' and 'Maybe, let me get back to you' can all be overwritten with new responses. On most devices, these can also be activated with the enter key (the speaker icon will turn yellow). If this does not work, use the enter symbol button next to the response.

What are the little boxes under the main capture field for, 'English' and 'United States'?

This is the language and when available the specific accent on the speaker. When these are selected, it aides in the accuracy of the voice translation to text.

What is the 'copy' icon for?

During conversation, if something the person said seems absurd, it probably is wrong. Click the copy icon to capture what they've said to the clipboard on the device so you can paste it into either the capture field if available, or the response field or elsewhere if you can quickly switch windows.

What is the 'paste' icon for?

This is not a true 'paste' icon. It takes the value in the main capture field and places it in the response field. If you're not composing a message, it's better than the 'copy' button.

What are the little boxes under the response field for, 'Native', 'rate' and 'pitch'?

Right off the bat let me say, if possible, change native to something else. The native voice on most systems sounds terrible. It's like listening to a robot. Rate should normally stay at 100. Pitch should stay at 50. I've taken the liberty of removing some of the more absurd rate and pitch values (although the extremes in this software are still borderline absurd).

Notes specific to Android

  1. Currently the Google Play app is not functioning as intended. Please visit https://convert-to-app.com in Google Chrome for a full featured version. From there, you can add the Web App (working properly) to your home screen.

Offline Mode

Offline mode support varies from device to device. On most android devices, you can download a language pack to allow the software to work in offline mode. This can be found in Settings>Language and input>Google voice typing>(gear)>Offline Speech Recognition

How accurate is FreeCaption

Compared to a native speaker of the language spoken? It's awful. Compared to other software, it's pretty good.

It's worth mentioning that the implementers of the API (Google, Amazon) are very natural conversation/slang speaking focused - particularly to US english speakers. This means that phrases like "Yeah she put it all over Facebook" are more likely to be interpreted.

License and Download

With exception of the service worker & chunkify, FreeCaption is released under the FreeCaption Restrictive Software License, chunkify is released under the MIT License, the service worker portion has been released by Google under the Apache License, Version 2.0. The microphone icon is public domain by paomedia. The speaker button is linkware, please visit iconsmind. Feel free to download and re-host this solution on your own servers; just know, if it breaks anything ever for any reason, I'm not liable.

The FreeCaption Restrictive License permits the hosting and distribution of the FreeCaption software, but disallows modifications with exception to chunkify.js, sw.js and service-worker.js. This is in order to maintain the spirit of the software, FreeCaption is always to be provided free to the end user.

Download FreeCaption.zip for rehosting

All questions may be directed to brandoncomputer@hotmail.com