Facebook acquires speech recognition firm Mobile Technologies

facebook buyout

Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a private company that develops speech recognition and machine translation technology. The move reiterates the social network’s commitment to its mobile strategy.

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of the company before today. But some quick digging shows that Mobile Technologies is behind the popular Jibbigo translation app, which the developers claim is the “world’s first” online/offline speech-to-speech translator…

Here’s the announcement from Facebook’s Director of Product Management Tom Stocky:

“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.

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.”

Facebook says it will continue to support the Jibbigo application for the time being, but it’s not yet known as to whether the company will integrate the service’s translation technology into its own mobile applications or what it plans to do with the tech.

Mobile Technologies was founded in 2001, and when the deal is done, the entire firm will be will merged with Facebook’s engineering team at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Other details, including financials, have not been disclosed.