Google acquires cloud-based visual effects company Zync to join Cloud Platform team

Zync logoGoogle announced on Tuesday that it has acquired cloud-based visual effects company Zync, which provided the rendering technology behind the movies Star Trek Into Darkness and Looper. Zync will be joining the Google Cloud Platform team, bolstering the company’s cloud-based offerings for creative professionals.

Zync Render is an in-house tool that provides integrated image rendering for visual effects professionals, offering users flexible solutions and greater creative freedoms with decreased longterm overhead and startup costs. The rendering tool has been used by over a dozen feature films and hundreds of commercials.  Read more

Google acquiring Gecko Design for help with X projects

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Google is acquiring Gecko Design, a firm that helps develop products for companies like Hewlett-Packard, Slingmedia, Dell, Fitbit and furniture maker Herman Miller. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but the Los Gatos, California company will be rolled into Google’s X lab, which is responsible for items like Glass and the search giant’s driverless car.

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Google acquires Jetpac city guide software, will discontinue service in September

Google has acquired Jetpac, a city guide application for iPhone, the app’s developers announced today (via The Next Web). The free app (and others by the Jetpac team) will be removed from the App Store in the coming days, and the service that powers it will be shut down on September 15th.

Google hasn’t said exactly what it plans to do with the company’s technology, which automatically scans users’ photos to detect local points of interest like coffee shops or “hipster hangouts.” The service featuerd data for over 6,000 cities, according to the App Store description.  It seems logical, however, that Google would attempt to integrate these features with Google Maps or a location-based Google Now feature.

You can grab the Jetpac app for free on the iTunes Store, though it won’t be very useful beyond its mid-September shutdown.

Google acquires mobile video startup Directr, adds talent to the YouTube ads team

YouTube has acquired a startup called Directr according to a post on the company’s website, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. Directr is a startup that makes two iOS apps for video creation—one focused on everyday users, and the other designed with small business marketing videos in mind.

The company says that for now, “everything you love about Directr is staying the same.” Directr’s current employees, however, will be joining the YouTube video ads team. Neither party has said how much the buyout cost yet, but Directr has confirmed that despite the change of ownership, it will continue to offer its current apps, which will now be available for free.

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Google’s acquisition of Twitch for $1 billion reportedly confirmed

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According to VentureBeat, citing sources familiar with the matter, Google has reached an agreement with Twitch to acquire the live streaming video platform for $1 billion. While the deal appears to have been finalized, the two companies have yet to make a formal announcement regarding the acquisition. Google’s YouTube division is reportedly in charge of the acquisition.  Read more

Samsung in talks to acquire SmartThings smart home platform for $200 million

SmartThings

According to a report from TechCrunch, Samsung is in talks with SmartThings to acquire the smart home platform for around $200 million. The report originally claimed that the deal was completed, but TechCrunch has since updated the report to note a second source says the talks are still ongoing.

SmartThings is a home automation platform that enables Android and iOS users to effortlessly control their home from one simple app, including lights, locks, electronics, appliances and other connected home devices. The app can also detect motion, alert you of danger and monitor how many family members are home at any given time. Read more

Nuance has reportedly held acquisition talks with Samsung

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According to a new report out of the Wall Street Jounral, speech and dictation service Nuance Communications has held acquisition talks with Samsung and has been exploring the possibility of a sale. It is widely speculated that the Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is powered by Nuance in the back-end. Samsung started partnering with Nuance late in 2013 for the voice recognition functionalities on its Galaxy Gear smart watch and Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

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Sprint reportedly close to acquiring T-Mobile for almost $32 billion

After several months of rumors, Sprint is reportedly finally nearing a deal to acquire T-Mobile USA. The two have reportedly been in negotiations for awhile now, but they have apparently finally reached an agreeable number. The deal, as it stands now, would have Sprint acquiring the Uncarrier for $31.3 billion. T-Mobile currently has about $15 billion in debt and $5 billion in cash. Sprint is valuing the company at roughly $40 a share.

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Google buys enterprise mobile device management startup Divide

Divide

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is purchasing Divide, a company that builds mobile device management software for enterprise customers. Divide confirmed the deal in an announcement on its website saying it will be joining the Android team and that existing customers will continue to be able to access the service (above).

Divide provides a cloud-based service that lets companies and large organizations oversee and manage mobile devices used by employees on their networks. The software can create separate work environments on personal devices used by employees, offers a number of security features, and also supports both Android and iOS: Read more

Google acquires Rangespan to help extend Google Shopping’s reach

Rangespan-Google

Google is taking a step towards advancing its e-commerce business, by purchasing London-based Rangespan, which has developed a unique tech that helps retailers forecast products and services that will be high in demand in the future.

A message on Rangespan’s website confirmed the buyout today. “We are very happy to announce that Rangespan is joining Google,” the company wrote. “We will continue to work on services for shoppers and retailers at Google, and we’re super excited about the opportunities to come. As part of the change, we will wind down Rangespan’s services. We’ve already begun working individually with each of our retailers and suppliers on this process.”

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