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Facebook is buying a voice recognition and translation company that might improve its mobile apps

News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday August 13, 2013.

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Facebook's mobile efforts have been less than stellar. The company's apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone were routinely bashed before recent updates, and Facebook Home and the Home-infused HTC First have been duds. Facebook is moving towards improving its future projects by acquiring Mobile Technologies, a company that specializes in speech recognition and translation.

Mobile Technologies developed an app called Jibbigo that translates text into different languages and provides pronunciation through audio as well. The app probably will not survive long post-acquisition, but the technology from the company and the engineering talent will join Facebook to power future projects. Facebook has not revealed any details about what it plans to do, but possible uses include offering translation services in the Facebook app for travelers or including voice commands to perform certain functions, similar to what Motorola has done with Google Now on the Moto X. It could even be something as simple as translating News Feed posts to a native language if someone follows people from other countries or lingual backgrounds.

Facebook's Tom Stocky, director of Product Management, posted the following statement on his Facebook page announcing the deal:

"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."

source: Facebook, via: Bloomberg

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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