Zoom has announced that it’s acquiring a company known as Kites (short for Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions); which has worked on creating real-time translation and transcription software.
Zoom says the acquisition is a move; to help it make communicating with people who speak different languages easier, and that it’s looking to add translation capabilities to its video conferencing app.
According to its site, Kites began at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and its technology was originally developed to act as in-classroom translation for students; who needed help understanding the English or German their professors were lecturing in.
Zoom already has real-time transcriptions, but it’s limited to people who are talking in English.
On a support page, Zoom also makes it clear that its current live transcription feature may not meet certain accuracy requirements.
The company says it’s considering opening a research center in Germany, where the Kites team will be staying.
However, the video meeting service is also adding support for an auto shape generation tool for users to draw; if they are also joining a meeting from a second device with a large screen such as an iPad; or an Android tablet in order to make use of the app’s whiteboard feature.
This should help teachers and other educators that want the other participants; to pay attention to certain parts of the screen.
Emojis have become an integral part of modern web communications; but Zoom had until now limited the use of emoji for reactions.
The company is now allowing any emoji available for Zoom chat to be used as a reaction in a meeting.
However, users will need to be on version 5.2.0 or later, and hosts can control this setting to disable it completely according to Zoom’s release notes.