Facebook acquires speech recognition tech company Mobile Technologies

Summary:Are voice commands coming to Facebook's mobile apps? A new acquisition lends to the idea.


Facebook looks like it is building out another branch of its evolving mobile-first strategy with the acquisition of Mobile Technologies.

Founded in 2001, the private company develops speech recognition and machine translation technology.

At the heart of Mobile Technologies's portfolio is Jibbigo, which the makers boasted as the "world’s first speech-to-speech translator" running both online and offline on mobile devices.

Based on the confirmation announcement on the Jibbigo website, the target audience has been travelers -- notably those in the healthcare industry deployed on humanitarian missions worldwide.

As for what Facebook plans to do with the technology, that remains to be seen.

According to the Jibbigo team, the company's solutions will be applied to "Facebook’s long-term product roadmap."

Tom Stocky, director of product at Facebook, reiterated the same sentiment in a separate blog post on Monday, adding, "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."

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

When the deal is done, the Mobile Technologies crew will be will merged with Facebook's engineering team at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Image via Jibbigo

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Smartphones, Social Enterprise, Developer


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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