“We are confident Kites’ impressive team will fit right in with Zoom.”
Zoom is now planning to acquire a German startup called Kites. This startup developed one of the highly-sophisticated real-time machine translation (MT) platform. Will this be Zoom’s new feature on the video conference calls?
Zoom and Kites partnership
On Tuesday, June 29, popular video teleconferencing app Zoom announces its partnership with German startup, Kites (Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions – kites, GmbH). The startup aims to improve Zoom’s engineering team by providing services for real-time translation on the app. Although, the specific contribution of the startup is not yet announced by Zoom.
“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,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering at Zoom. “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.”
The 12 research scientists from Kites will soon be added on the Zoom team.
What is Kites startup?
Kites, founded in 2015 by Dr. Sebastian Stüker and Dr. Alex Waibel, specializes in “transforming the latest research in speech translation technology into viable products.” The startup aims to break language barriers amongst users worldwide.
“Kites emerged with the mission of breaking down language barriers and making seamless cross-language interaction a reality of everyday life, and we have long admired Zoom for its ability to easily connect people across the world,” said founders Dr. Waibel and Dr. Stüker. “We know Zoom is the best partner for Kites to help advance our mission and we are excited to see what comes next under Zoom’s incredible innovation engine.”
Kites’ technology claims that their services has one of the highest accuracy rate in translating real-time. The company said they have a minimum number of error rate of about 5%, while the human translation error rate is about 5.5% only.
Real-time translation feature is no longer a new concept in the technology world. In fact, in 2017, Google via its Pixel Buds, already had an exclusive real-time translation feature. However, based on ZDNet reviews, the feature seems to be lacking in total performance. Basically, the real-time translation does not read the human speech that efficiently or as advertised by the company.
If Zoom can make Kites’ boasted accurate real-time translation feature, this would be the best thing to possibly be added on their system.
Zoom’s updated feature in Chromebooks
Starting in Tuesday, June 29, Zoom will finally release the brand new Progressive Web App of the software, specifically offering best features in Chromebook devices. This new app will be made available through Google Play Stor– easier to directly download on laptops.
We’re excited to announce we’re launching a new Zoom progressive web application (PWA) for Chrome OS! This will improve the Zoom experience for Chromebook users, and give them access to even more Zoom features on Chrome OS devices.