A bit more than a year ago Olesya and I designed a new feature for messenger apps. People send and receive a lot of voice messages daily. But we found that while it's convenient to record voice messages, it's not always the same with listening to them. You could be on a noisy bus, at the boring meeting, or in a room with someone sleeping and without headphones. We were recently thinking about this idea and we found another very important use case for our invention.
You can't listen to voice messages if you are deaf. And with the tools we have today, we should create products with experiences that work for as many people as possible. Adapting them for disabilities is one of the important parts of this: nobody is ideal, we are all different — and this is what makes us humans.
So how do we make voice messages accessible for deaf people and others in situations in which they can't listen to them? Easy: just turn them into text, because most of the people who use messengers could read. Voice recognition is still a very expensive operation, so I think that's the reason for not implementing this feature in modern messengers. But it is certainly possible, and it could make lives of thousands people who don't like receiving and listening to voice messages a tiny bit easier.
What's even cooler about the voice-to-text feature, is that reading takes much less time than listening to your friend mumbling something with a tired voice at the late night. Some other benefits of using this technology and even a working prototype is in the article I linked at the beginning of this post. Voice messages are convenient for those who are sending them. This feature could add a lot more comfort to those on the other end.