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August 13, 2013

Facebook to Buy Developer of Voice Recognition and Translation Tools

Facebook has agreed to purchase Mobile Technologies, a developer of voice recognition and translation tools, possibly in a bid to remove language barriers on its social network.

Mobile Technologies, which was founded in 2001 with the goal of opening up communication worldwide, is the creator of Jibbigo, the first speech-to-speech translator to be created for the phone. The software runs online and off-line, independent from the Internet.

“Facebook, with its mission to make the world more open and connected, provides the perfect platform to apply our technology at a truly global scale,” Mobile Technologies said in a post on its website.

 Mobile Technologies image

Mobile Technologies image

“We look forward to continuing to develop our technology at Facebook and finding new and interesting ways to apply it to Facebook’s long-term product roadmap.”

Facebook product director Tom Stocky said in a post on Facebook that the Mobile Technologies team will join the social network’s engineering teams at its Menlo Park, California headquarters.

Stocky describes the firm as “a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology.”

“It has always been our mission to make the world more open and connected. Although more than a billion people around the world already use Facebook every month, we are always looking for ways to help connect the rest of the world as well,” Stocky said.

“Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution. We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap as we continue towards our company’s mission.”

Terms of the deal were not released.