A transcription machine is a device that converts audio into written words by translating the speech into text. The earliest transcription machines were not really machines at all but rather a combination of a human and an audio recorder. The human typist working for a transcription company would listen to the recorded speech through a set of headphones and simply type whatever they heard. Over the years, however, transcription machines have evolved beyond their humble origins into complex and efficient technological equipment.
With the emergence of digital technology, transcription services began their evolution into what they are today. These more recent machines were digital devices that allowed the user to record sound and then plug the device into their computer. Through the use of special software, this recorded audio would be transcribed into text. While the efficiency of these machines was extraordinary for the time, they still had high rates of error and were not incredibly accurate. Thus, the evolution of audio transcription was not yet complete.
In most recent times, transcription machines have evolved into easily operable and highly efficient applications on the myriad of smartphones and high-speed computers common in today's technologically advanced world. Although these applications are often able to more accurately transcribe small bits of audio, they still have relatively low efficiency rates when dealing with long sections of speech. This is due to the fact that the software operating these apps is virtually the same as the older software that emerged several decades ago.
However, new software has changed the face of digital transcription. With the advent of the modern smartphone, transcription technology can be utilized by almost everyone in almost any circumstance. There are several apps available to accomplish this, but you basically speak into your smartphone and, within 20 or so minutes, it will return a fairly accurate transcript to you. This technology is great for people on the go who need to jot down ideas and use them later on. Whenever something pops into your head, you can speak into the app and get an accurate transcription not too long after, which you can then access when you get back to your computer.
The history of transcription machines illustrates how far technology has come in the past century and how this progress has made difficult tasks, such as audio transcription, much easier and more efficient.