Real-time transcription is the general term for transcription by court reporters using real-time text technologies to deliver computer text screens within a few seconds of the words being spoken. Specialist software allows participants in court hearings or depositions to make notes in the text and highlight portions for future reference.
Typically, real-time writers can produce text using machines at the rate of at least 200 words per minute. Stenographers can typically type up to 300 words per minute for short periods of time, but most cannot sustain such a speed.
Real-time transcription is also used in the broadcasting environment where it is more commonly termed "captioning."
Real-time reporting is used in a variety of industries, including entertainment, television, the Internet, and law.
Specific careers include the following:
- Judicial reporters - use a stenotype to provide instant transcripts on computer screens as a trial or deposition occurs.
- Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) reporters — assist the hearing-impaired by translating spoken words into text, giving them personal access to the communications they need on a day-to-day basis.
- Television broadcast captioners — use real-time reporting technology to allow hard-of-hearing or deaf people to see what is being said on live television broadcasts such as news, emergency broadcasts, sporting events, awards shows, and other programs.
- Internet information (or Webcast) reporters — provide real-time reporting of sales meetings, press conferences, and other events, while simultaneously transmitting the transcripts to computers world-wide.
- Other rapid data entry positions.