Zoom has announced that it has acquired a company specializing in real-time translation software.

In a statement posted on its official website, Zoom shared details about its acquisition of German company Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions, otherwise known as Kites GmbH. 

The statement describes Kites GmbH as "a start-up dedicated to developing real-time Machine Translation (MT) solutions."

The move is seen to boost Zoom's widely-used video conferencing service. Zoom Meetings earned the company a revenue of $952 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Zoom Acquires Kites GmbH: What You Should Know

Zoom Meeting
(Photo : Zoom)

Zoom's latest company acquisition is an effort by the company to help users who are communicating in other languages, according to a report by The Verge. Per the report, Zoom is looking into adding better translation features to the app. 

The Kites GmbH team, which is made up of 12 research scientists, will help add better multi-language translation capabilities that users can use during their Zoom meetings.

"Kites emerged with the mission of breaking down language barriers and making seamless cross-language interaction a reality of everyday life," the co-founded said in the same statement posted on Zoom's website. 

The co-founders added that they believe that the video conferring app is the "best partner" to help advance the mission of Kites GmbH.  

"We are confident Kites' impressive team will fit right in with Zoom," said Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering at Zoom.

Despite the acquisition, the Kites GmbH team will stay in Karlsruhe, Germany. In the same statement, Zoom also mentioned the possibility of opening an research and development center in Germany as well. 

Kites co-founder Dr. Alex Waibel will become a Zoom Research Fellow who will advise on Zoom's MT research and development.

Related Article: Why Is AI Still Struggling With Language Translation?

Kites GmbH: Company Background

Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions, or Kites GmbH, was founded in 2015 by Dr. Alex Waibel and Dr. Sebastian Stüker. Both co-founders are faculty members of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. 

The company focuses on technology on automatic speech translation and transcription. According to Kites GmbH's official website, users have the option to view the translation either as subtitles in the original language or as translated text in their chosen language. 

Kites GmbH makes use of predictive artificial intelligence (AI) as well as seq2seq technology for their software. The technology makes it possible for the transcript and translated text to self-correct or to complete a sentence before the speaker even finishes. 

Zoom's Current Real-Time Transcription Feature

(Photo : Pixabay/StartupStockPhotos)
Zoom meeting transcribe Otter

According to the Verge, the video-conferencing app already has an automated closed captioning feature. The feature was first announced by Zoom early this year. 

To enable the automated closed captioning feature for all users in an account, the user must look for the navigation panel and click "Account Management." Choose "Account Setting" and then pick the "Meeting" tab. 

Look for "In Meeting (Advanced)," which is where the toggle for closed captioning is located.

Last month, AI-powered transcription service Otter announced its new feature, Otter Assistant, which enables transcription during Zoom meetings as well as automatic synching of meetings in the user's calendar.  

Also Read: Zoom Meetings Advanced Tricks: Make People Pay Attention to You With These Tips

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Written by Isabella James

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