Sprint offers free web-based phone call translation

woman Oh boy, I gotta see this. Sprint’s offering its new “WebCapTel” service to people who don’t have trouble speaking but might be a little hard of hearing.

The basic idea is pretty simple. You sign up for the service and register your phone number at SprintCapTel.com and when someone calls you, you can log into the site and have what they’re saying automatically transcribed for you.

It’s not quite that easy in practice, though. For starters, the person that’s calling you has to first dial into an 800 number and then key in your actual ten digit phone number. When your phone starts ringing, you’ll have to haul ass to your computer to load everything up the interface.

Actually, you can take the call normally and load up the interface mid-conversation. I just thought you’d enjoy the visual of an elderly lady speed-waddling across the house in her turquoise sweatpants to get in front of the trusty old 75-pound solid steel Compaq that smells like Benson and Hedges Ultra-Light 120’s.

And let’s not forget how hard it is for computers to accurately translate your voice into text. I promised myself I was going to use dictation software all the time — posting like the wind, I would be the most unstoppable blogger east of the Mississippi! — but that dream died by noon on the first day.

The service is free, though, and if you can brew the perfect storm of computer savvy, accurate translation, and speed-waddling, it just might be useful.

Sprint’s Hard of Hearing Customers Benefit from New and Free Web-Based Solution [Press Release/Yahoo! News]