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Vivox, a leading provider of voice chat in games, has acquired the video chat firm Droplet.

Natick, Mass.-based Vivox plans to drop Droplet’s technology into Vivox’s VoiceEverywhere platform, which serves more than 80 million fans who generate 3.5 billion minutes of voice chat each month.

The service already provides mobile carriers with the ability to offer voice chat and will now add video, much like Apple does with FaceTime. But FaceTime requires a Wi-Fi connection, it slows the network and it takes a toll on battery life for a phone. Droplet has a patented technology that delivers high-quality video chat across devices, countries, social networks and operating systems “without straining the resources of the mobile network or user’s device.”

“In acquiring Droplet, Vivox is building on its history of improving the communication experience for consumers and carriers alike,” said Rob Seaver, Vivox chief executive. “We are committed to providing a high-quality video communications solution for consumers that complements our existing superior voice services.”

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Vivox has become a popular way for gamers to communicate in large groups in virtual worlds. Vivox supplies the social communications to partners such as CCP Games, Linden Lab, Nexon, Sony Online Entertainment and Wargaming.net. It is available on Twitter and Facebook, and it powers T-Mobile’s Bobsled by T-Mobile social chat technology.

Vivox has 40 employees. Rivals include Qik, which was acquired by Skype (now owned by Microsoft).

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