Facebook has acquired a speech interpretation and translation software company called Mobile Technologies. Mobile Technologies’ core product is called Jibbigo. Jibbigo is a speech-to-speech translation mobile application. This application will continue to be updated under Facebook for now. Several Mobile Technologies employees will join Facebook at the company’s Menlo Park, California headquarters.
“I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies, a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology. With this deal we will welcome some of the industry’s most talented people to our engineering teams in Menlo Park, California,” stated Facebook’s product management director Tom Stocky. “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. 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.”
It is unclear what Facebook will do with Mobile Technologies in terms of integration. I’m imagining that Facebook may use Jibbigo’s technology to add a voice translation feature in the News Feed. For example, when someone writes a status in Spanish, there could be an icon that allows you to translate the text using a voice in English.