Voice-controlled teleprompter software is the wave of the future!
Author: William McFarlain, Programming Coordinator for AOC Community Media
Tools, software, apps, and hacks. I live for the constant stream of innovative and creative tools and utilities that the production industry is constantly churning out to fix a problem, find a solution or just simplify a workflow.
When I initially drafted my blog, I wanted to talk about inexpensive alternatives to professional cameras for smaller independent productions. However, yesterday a new product was introduced to me; on online teleprompter service, Telepromt.me, that is free of charge. There is one major difference between it and any other free prompter service and that is, you control the prompter with you voice. I was skeptical, but I thought I would check it out. For science!
Full disclosure, I learned about this service the day before the deadline, and due to a busy production schedule, I had a limited number of hours for testing this service. Nonetheless, my first impression is very positive, and would recommend it to anyone in need of a decent, and more importantly free, prompter service or software.
A voice-controlled teleprompter offers a few obvious solutions right away:
It eliminates the need for a person to operate your prompter for you.
It eliminates the need to hold a potentially distracting remote in your hands.
It eliminates the need to set the teleprompter to auto scroll which, from experience, can result in frantically trying to keep up with fast scroll pace.
Currently Telepromt.me only works through Chrome browsers. It worked great on my Chrome for desktop, and appeared to work on my Chrome for Android. I did not have any Apple devices to test it on, nor did I have an Android tablet to test it so you may want to explore the options for those types of devices.
A great benefit of telepromt.me is that it has a mirroring feature so that you can use it with a traditional teleprompter camera peripheral, like the one AOC offers in its Multi-Purpose Studio. It currently only offers plain text and text colors and it doesn’t offer font modifications such as bold, italics, etc.
Beyond that, the drawbacks are the same as any traditional teleprompter software. There is no voice command integration so if you want to do retakes, you have to manually restart it.
The software did a great job of keeping up with me while I spoke, also realizing when I had skipped words or even added a few of my own, off-script words, by mistake. It recognized my last name when spoken, though I did not test a lot of different types of last names. I also was unable to test it with any kind of accents, so we’ll have to see how it functions with different regional accents.
In closing, please be aware that the site does require access to your microphone. It will listen to you until you close the tab or change the permissions in Chrome so keep that in mind. A voice controlled teleprompter is not a new idea, but never before have I seen such an accurate one, for free. So get out there and write some scripts!