Google Bought a Smartwatch Maker Last Year

Indicating that a device may be coming sooner rather than later

By on August 31st, 2013 11:11 GMT

The tech world can't stop talking about smartwatches these days, with Samsung having confirmed that it's launching one and Apple being rumored, like it has been for a long time, that it's about to put one on sale as well.

But smartwatches are hardly new, startups and big companies alike, like Sony, have launched products like these, to some success. But all of them have had drawbacks, from battery life to lack of integration.

It remains to be seen whether the new devices will do anything to fix that. But one thing is for sure, even if no one has nailed it yet, none of the big tech companies wants to be left behind. Samsung was so scared of Apple building a smartwatch that it built it first.

Google is working on this as well. Rumors about a smartwatch and a Google hardware division aren't new. But it has only now been revealed that the company acquired WIMM Labs, a startup that has been working with smartwatch technology, including an Android-powered device, for the past few years.

The acquisition happened last year, but Google kept quiet, for obvious strategic reasons. When it got acquired, WIMM had not only built an Android-powered smartwatch, but also an app platform and API for it.

It's safe to assume that Google has been working on a smartwatch ever since and that it's not just an experimental project, it wants something in the market as soon as possible.

But Google is known for buying startups and doing nothing with them. The company has been more business-oriented lately, i.e. moonshot ideas go to Google X, but everything else has to be about products that target a lot of people.

It might be that the Google smartwatch becomes a reality this year, it might take longer or it may not come at all if devices from Samsung or Apple if it's building one turn out to be failures.

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