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Facebook plans to buy voice recognition app maker

The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/V
The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/V

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc plans to buy the maker of a speech recognition and language translation app, providing technology that could bolster the social networking company's mobile efforts.

Facebook did not disclose the financial terms of its deal for Pittsburgh-based Mobile Technologies.

Facebook Management Director Tom Stocky said in a blog post on Monday, "Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web."

The deal comes a week after Motorola, which is owned by Facebook rival Google Inc, unveiled its Moto X phone which has built-in voice recognition capabilities. Apple Inc's Siri feature, which functions as a personal assistant for iPhones, also uses voice recognition.

Mobile Technologies, founded in 2001, was the maker of the free Jibbigo Translator mobile app that automatically translates speech from more than 20 languages.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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