Optus is sending an auto transcription service into beta, meaning your calls can become words for easier note taking.
If you’ve ever struggled to recall exactly what you spoke to someone on the phone about, don’t worry, you’re normal. But however normal that is, it can still be frustrating, and may soon be a thing of the past.
While Google has a very capable transcription service built into its voice recorder on the Pixel phones, it’s just for things recorded intentionally with that app, and distinct from what happens when you make a call.
Optus, however, has been toying with something for its customer, allowing you to capture what has been said simply when you made the call, transcribing a call when you ask it with something the telco is calling “Call Notes”.
It’s a feature in beta that may well be coming soon, and will kick in when you talk to Optus through a regular call in much the same way that you might talk to Google, Alexa, or even Siri. Simply put, if you have Optus Call Notes switched on, calls made by an Optus customer can have that person say “Hey Optus, take notes”, and the assistant will not only check with the other caller whether it’s allowed, but then do it, sending the notes to the Optus app in real time.
“With a simple voice command, Call Notes will take notes in real time, and store those conversations securely, making day to day tasks that little bit easier,” said Matt Williams, Managing Director of Marketing and Revenue at Optus.
“Our vision at Optus is to become Australia’s most loved everyday brand with lasting customer relationships and with the introduction of Call Notes as part of the Optus Living Network, we are moving one step closer to achieving this vision by listening to our customers and solving one of their everyday problems,” he said.
The idea means that if you want a transcript of a call or even a portion of a call, you may well be able to get it, with the service able to transcribe what’s being said on the call, and that transcription appearing solely for the customer who requested it, stored solely on the device and deleted from Optus’ systems after having been downloaded.
It’s also a service that will likely cost money later on, but in the beta trial period, will at least be free, in testing alongside the Optus call translation service announced in the middle of the year.
Interestingly, it may mean that a technology on the Optus network is always listening for a signal to kick in, similar to how smart speakers whir into action the moment when you call for a voice assistant to start doing something for you, as well.
As to whether this will reverberate across the industry and see other mobile services do something similar, time will clearly tell for that, but for businesses in need of quick notes about a call that they don’t have the time to write down, well it’s possible the Optus addition could end up being more welcome than some may expect.