Just in: Zoom has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions – kites, GmbH “(Kites).”
Founded in 2015, the German start-up develops real-time machine translation (MT) solutions – and has academic grounding via the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology where the startup’s co-founders Dr. Alex Waibel and Dr. Sebastian Stüker remain faculty members.
According to a blog post written by Zoom, the group of 12 research scientists will assist the video conferencing and team collaboration giant’s engineering team, hoping to improve the machine translation capabilities for users. This should work to further Zoom’s aim of being a more inclusive platform for all. It could also, according to a Zoom statement:
“Improve meeting productivity and efficiency by providing multi-language translation capabilities for our users.” Further noting in the blog post, Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering, Zoom, said:
“We are continuously looking for new ways to deliver happiness to our users and improve meeting productivity, and MT solutions will be key in enhancing our platform for Zoom customers across the globe. With our aligned missions to make collaboration frictionless – regardless of language, geographic location, or other barriers – we are confident Kites’ impressive team will fit right in with Zoom.”
According to Zoom – Dr. Stüker and the rest of the Kites team will remain based in Karlsruhe, Germany. Zoom says that it has plans to invest in expanding the team in Germany. It is also exploring opening a research and development center in Germany in the future. Dr. Waibel is tapped to become a Zoom Research Fellow. In the role, he will advise Zoom on MT research and development.