Google has reportedly acquired WIMM Labs, the company that first introduced us to its 1-inch, Android-powered wearable platform back in 2011.WIMM stopped offering its open Developer Kit for its “WIMM One” platform back in the summer of 2012, noting on its website that it had “entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship” for the technology. According to a report from GigaOm, that’s because Google quietly picked up the company last year to help work on its own wearable products:
At the time, some publications speculated that Apple may have snatched up WIMM Labs to bolster its iWatch efforts, but GigaOM has now learned that the buyer actually was Google. The acquisition was facilitated by Woodside Capital Partners, and it looks like a significant part of WIMM’s staff stayed on to join Google. Most of WIMM’s senior staff still list their original company on their Linkedin profile, but a few have updated it with a mention of their new employer.
The news comes just as Samsung is about to introduce its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch product and as rumors of Apple releasing a smartwatch or similar wearable product continue to heat up. According to the report, which Google is yet to confirm, the talent picked up from WIMM is currently working with Google’s Android team. There is no mention of Google working on a smart watch product specifically, and, while the 1-inch WIMM One platform might be best suited to the wrist watch form factor, there is a possibility Google could put the tech towards other wearable products.
The WIMM developer kit allowed app developers to create apps for a marketplace that can still be viewed online, so perhaps Google will take advantage of the work WIMM has put into creating an app ecosystem and SDK for very small displays.