A main focus point of I/O 2019 was enhanced accessibility options and controls, with Live Relay and Live captions being stand out inclusions that require no internet connection to work.

Both new features look excellent in practice, with the Live Captions offering the ability to live caption videos of almost any kind. That means you can record a clip and have your device automatically caption with little to no effort on the end-user part.

Live Relay is targetted more at those with speech issues or impediments and provides the ability to make phone calls using the Google Assistant. In practice, it works in a similar vein to that of Google Duplex.

Being able to add closed captions to any video you record instantly makes videos more accessible. Live Caption is, therefore, a powerful new addition for those that are hard of hearing or have a hearing-related disability. When recording a video you can add captions to your friends and family audio and see the speed turn into text in real time with no web connection needed.

It also works with YouTube and is a marked enhancement over the automatically generated closed captions that are already seen on millions of videos on the platform.

Conversely, Live Relay adds the ability to have a live-transcribed call with another person almost in the same way that Google Duplex works. You’re able to type custom messages or even use Smart Reply to send pre-composed quick replies all based upon the on-going conversation.

Live Relay is still in the “research phases” and so it is unknown if we will see it again in its current incarnation. Like Live Caption, you don’t need an internet connection for it to work, which opens it up to users all over the globe. That said, we still don’t have any release date information for either new accessibility service, which coincides with the new Project Euphonia.

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