Work Brain - Engage!

Work Brain - Engage!

After taking a week off, getting surprised by a bank holiday Monday and then getting an extra closure day for Tuesday, I finally returned back to work today.

As you're aware, you somehow always seem to return to 10x more work than would be there if you didn't take leave. It's some kind of karma sticking it to you for even daring to rest. Well in true fashion I returned to a butt-load of emails (I practice the art of Inbox-Zero) and a huge number of missed calls. Then there were a load of last minute meetings trying to fill up my now unblocked calendar. Bastards!

Today's puzzler, however, was that of interpretation services during video conferencing. This isn't new to us for our internal conferencing where we have dedicated bookable rooms with nice multi-channel wireless headsets and translation equipment - but we can't use that right now. We've got Microsoft Teams and there seemingly lack of interest in developing a suitable feature for both multi-lingual and sign language interpretation: Teams Uservoice Feature Request

For meetings with participants who speak different languages, it would be great to enable an interpreter console feature, allowing participants to choose their preferred audio channel (language), and listen to the interpreter (a meeting participant who could be remotely connected) rendering into their language.

This is a truly fundamental requirement for somewhere that needs to offer services with multi-lingual users (Wales). I hate to admit it, but Zoom is winning on this front Microsoft - stop fannying around.
For those of you about to suggest - We tried and holy crap, what a train wreck. Its current ability to translate to and from Welsh leaves something to be desired. Saying that, the Welsh language itself leaves something to be desired, it's ... odd. After 20 years of living here it still hasn't even begun to sink in.
We were calling colleagues sexy, me green and just flat out missing words making some sentences completely senseless. It was a damn good laugh though. It's a good job our team has a sense of humour.

There were also issues with the generated links not working as expected and kept trying to open "Mail" on macOS and the sevice wouldn't even log in on Safari/Firefox/Edge Beta but worked fine on Edge/Chrome. There were also other minor things like microphone permissions just not even being prompted, etc.
If we were having these many issues, it's not smooth enough to suggest as a solution to our end users.

One colleague found which we're investigating but we'll see how that goes.

So FOSS, make sure user selectable multi channel audio is a thing so people can select to listen to a second source (eg: a live translator). I'm looking at you Jitsi ;).

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

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