Facebook Buys Speech Translation App Mobile TechnologiesDale Wright
Facebook has revealed that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a startup that translates speech into other languages, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal was finalised yesterday, and means that Facebook will now own Jibbigo, a voice translation app for iOS and Android. The app means that you can directly translate speech into different languages from your phone, even when you’re offline. The Jibbigo app currently supports 25 dialects, and lets you record spoken words to receive a direct translation.
It’s not clear yet what plans Facebook has for this new technology, or when we’ll see it implemented on the site, but the social network is clearly very excited about the partnership: it’s set to move Mobile Technologies to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
We imagine that Mobile Technologies is pretty stoked about the deal too, as it now means that their apps will be used by Facebook’s one billion users.
In a statement, Tom Stocky, Facebook’s director of product management, said that the reason they bought Mobile Technologies is because voice technology is becoming more important to the way that people use the internet. That’s kind of vague though; it doesn’t give us any clue as to what Facebook will do with the voice translation software.
Facebook have also said that the acquisition is part of their “long-term product roadmap”, so perhaps we’re going to see the social site moving into more voice-based software. It’s definitely the case that voice technology allows people to connect better over the internet, as video call services such as Skype and Google Hangouts are big business. Perhaps we’ll see Facebook developing its own video or audio messaging service, which can translate your speech? We’ll have to wait and see.