Facebook acquires startup Mobile Technologies for voice recognition

Facebook officially wants to jump on the speech-recognition bandwagon - or so it appears, as the company just agreed to acquire start-up Mobile Technologies.

Tom Stocky, a product manager at Facebook, announced the deal on Monday, emphasising Facebook will acquire the start-up's machine-translation technology and engineering talent. Facebook wouldn't disclose terms of the transaction nor who exactly from Mobile Technologies would join Facebook.

Stocky specifically said the acquired technology will help Facebook evolve products and strengthen its mission of making the world more open and connected. Mobile Technologies is the developer behind speech-to-speech translator application Jibbigo; Facebook told TechCrunch it would continue to support the app "for the time being".

"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," wrote Stocky on Monday in a post on Facebook. "We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap as we continue towards our company's mission."

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Mobile Technologies commented on the acquisition via Jibbigo's website on Monday, clarifying that much of the start-up's team will join Facebook. The engineering team plans to continue developing voice technology, as well as finding new ways to apply that technology toward Facebook's long-term goal.

So look out for a Facebook update in the coming months that will allow users to post statuses and comments by voice. That's pure speculation, obviously. Only time will tell what Facebook and Mobile Technologies will concoct in regards to speech-recognition.



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