The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Transforming transcription

As a researcher, finding a reliable, cost effective and accurate transcription service can seem like a difficult task. The cheaper machine services can be inaccurate and incorrect, while human transcribers tend to be more accurate, but can be out of many people's price ranges.

The ONE mini device has been designed to combat some of those problems. It records audio direct to the device, meaning it may take on the role of the Dictaphone in research contexts. It has two translation and transcription modes: AI translation into written text, for regular transcription; and live human translation that can be used for events, workshops or any other research methodology involving multiple languages that need translating. Both services are free currently, you only have to pay for the device itself. The ONE mini is still in development, but it has exceeded its Kickstarter funding goal.

Outside of research, we increasingly see content on social media published with transcriptions, to cater for those with hearing impairments or language differences. Android also recently announced a feature that will allow a device to listen to its surroundings and display any speech as text on screen.

It remains to be seen how well these solutions will work, or how accurate the results will be, but it appears that we may be on the cusp of transformations in the transcription world.


Alicia Dowsett
Senior Consultant, Yonder Consulting Limited

This article was first published in InBrief magazine, August 2019
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2019