Wit.ai, a Y combinator startup founded 18 months ago, has been acquired by Facebook with the intent for the company to help the social network create an API for building voice-controlled interfaces.
Facebook could potentially work together with Wit.ai’s development team to create voice controlled tools, such as a voice-to-text input for Messenger. This acquisition could also further Facebook’s understanding of semantic voice search, and maybe even lead to a Facebook app that could be controlled entirely with one’s voice.
Wit.ai boasts a team of 6,000 developers who have collectively built hundreds of apps. Its platform will continue to remain open and free following the acquision.
What separates Wit.ai from similar developers out there is the platform the company has created, which allows developers to add a few lines of code to instantly build speech recognition and voice control into an application.
Wit.ai describes what this acquisition means for the future of both companies:
“Facebook has the resources and talent to help us take the next step. Facebook’s mission is to connect everyone and build amazing experiences for the over 1.3 billion people on the platform – technology that understands natural language is a big part of that, and we think we can help.”
Voice recognition is going to become more important to apps as wearable technology gains in popularity. This acquision by Facebook may be a sign that the social network is on its way to becoming more accessible via voice commands. We’ll have to wait and see.