Google has acquired a new company, smartwatch maker WIMM Labs, a move that further proves Google’s increased interest in wearable smart devices.
This isn’t the first time we hear that Google may be working on its own smartwatch in addition to Google Glass, also a wearable device – we have told you as much before this year’s Google I/O, and we have shown you new Motorola patent applications for such a device – although the company is yet to unveil an actual product.
As for WIMM, the company said in summer 2012 it has entered “into an exclusive confidential relationship” for its technology, which prevented it to sell any more WIMM One Android-based smartwatches to interested buyers. At the time, it was believed that Apple purchased the company.
Now, GigaOM reveals that WIMM has entered into a relationship with Google. It’s not clear how much Google paid for the company, but we can safely guess why it purchased WIMM Labs for.
According to the publication, some WIMM employees now work at Google with the Android team and Google has confirmed the acquisition.
While WIMM products weren’t necessarily popular must-have devices, they certainly attracted Google’s attention, and we can safely assume the Search giant will put that smartwatch technology to good use in its own smartwatch models and even in Google Glass.
What may have caught Google’s attention is WIMM’s own developer program, which allowed developers to create so-called “micro apps” or “applications that were meant to provide more than just notifications for your smartphone, but actually work independently from the device in your pocket and provide additional functionality.”
WIMM even had an app store in beta for these micro apps, which is still accessible online and includes various applications that would work independently of a connection to a smartphone.
Interestingly, when we first learned about Google’s smartwatch plans, we were also told that the device needs a connection to a smartphone to offer those smart features users will expect.
We have no idea when Google’s first smartwatch will launch, but the smartwatch environment is certainly getting more crowded, with various companies interested in a piece of the pie.
In addition to Google, other companies including Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung and Sony are either rumored to launch their own smartwatch models, or have already released at least one such product. When it comes to Motorola, Google’s subsidiary has already sold a smartwatch model, but we were told that it will also make Google’s smartwatch in the future.
Samsung is going to unveil its first smartwatch next week alongside the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, and we’ll be live in Berlin, Germany to thoroughly cover the event for you. Sony is getting ready to sell its second-generation Smartwatch, while Apple is said to have an iWatch in stores next year.