Zoom has announced the acquisition of Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions (“Kites”) –an AI company that provides real-time Machine Translation solutions and has worked on real-time translation and transcription software in the past. The video conferencing giant revealed that it signed a definitive agreement with Kites GmbH stating the final terms on which the acquisition is based.
Video conferring has become an elemental part of having meetings and going about social gatherings these days, as the coronavirus pandemic is still raging on. Zoom plans on taking its platform to the “next level” with this acquisition. The plan is to make communication among people that speak entirely different languages possible and seamless. Zoom also plans to include language translation capabilities to its platform with the acquisition.
Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions (“Kites”), according to the information provided on its website, started as a technology that was used as an in-classroom translation in the Karlsruhe Institute of technology. This technology helped students to understand the English or German that professors lectured in.
Real-time transcription is already available on Zoom but the thing is t is limited to only people speaking in the English language. Zoom even made it clear on its website that the available live transcription feature available on its platform may fall short of certain accuracy requirements.
Zoom became popular after the coronavirus disease broke out and everyone had to stay at home to curb the spread of the disease. The platform saw a rapid increase in the use of the platform for remote work, business meetings, distance learning, social activities, etc. Zoom was the 5th most downloaded app as of 2020. The platform had 477 million downloads globally.
Zoom was founded in 2011 but became fully functional in August 2012. The platform operates a free plan that gives room for 100 participants with a 40 minutes time limit. Users can choose to subscribe to paid plans that give more options and fewer limitations. For example, the platform’s highest-paid plan allows up to 1,000 participants for up to 30 hours.
Zoom mentioned that it is considering opening a research centre in Germany that would be used by its acquisition Kites for research and development purposes.