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Google buys smart watch maker WIMM to boost wearable device initiative [update: Confirmed]

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Last year, Google acquired Los Altos, Calif.-based WIMM Labs, all but assuring that the search giant is preparing to make a big move into wearable technology beyond what it has already revealed.



Rumors that Google was working on its own smart watch device broke soon after similar rumors emerged surrounding an Apple "iWatch", and now sources tell to GigaOM that Google purchased WIMM Labs in order to pump more life into its existing smart watch efforts.

The acquisition is thought to have occurred some time last year, when WIMM ceased sales of the WIMM One smart watch, shuttered its Twitter account, and said on its website that it had "entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology."

The WIMM acquisition, observers note, gives Google a highly developed pool of talent from the wearable computing segment. Reportedly, Google had considered handing the smart watch project to the Google X division, which developed Google Glass and Google's self-driving cars. Instead, WIMM is working within the Android division.

Any Google watch product that would emerge would enter an increasingly crowded field. In addition devices already on the market, such as Sony's SmartWatch 2 and an offering from Pebble, Google would face competition from its top Android manufacturing partner, Samsung. The South Korean conglomerate has already confirmed that it will show off its new Galaxy Gear watch early next month in Berlin.

Beyond those, there is the ever-looming possibility that Apple may enter the segment with its own offering. The most recent rumors surrounding a possible iWatch have it pegged for a 2014 debut. Apple's device is thought to have a large focus on biometrics and sensors. Such a device could be more in line with the thinking of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who previously hinted that "[changing] somebody's behavior" would be Apple's focus were it to enter the smart watch segment.

Update: Google has confirmed the buy to AllThingsD, but would not offer any further comment regarding what it plans to do with the company or its technology.
post #2 of 61
There is a famous song about this .. Once the Apple iWatch come out it will drive the 'Wimm away'.
Edited by digitalclips - 8/30/13 at 3:10pm
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post #3 of 61
Oh look ... Google Ads on my wrist! ROFLAMO

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #4 of 61
Very surprised Google was able to keep the purchase under wraps for so long, particularly with all the attention being paid to possible smart watch products.
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post #5 of 61
What's ROFLAMO mean?
post #6 of 61
Hedge against the "what ever happened to Google Glass?" future.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #7 of 61
What a joke. Goggle is just throwing its disposable money around. Seriously, do you think that sh** will make them their money back?Their investors are so screwed.
post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Hedge against the "what ever happened to Google Glass?" future.
WIMM was reportedly working on several different wearables and not just watches. Google may have bought them to use with Google Glass
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post #9 of 61
Next year, you, the public and NSA can search your biometric data for free! Plus hear the hourly chime as a 30 sec audio commercial. Thanks Google.
post #10 of 61

We never heard a word about smart watches. Then a rumor arrives that Apple is making one. Suddenly Samsung and Google are frantically trying to make one. And after the iWatch is released, Samsung and Google will throw out their designs and will copy the iWatch.

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post #11 of 61
Please, Apple, leak a rumor that you're working on a the iPlane just to watch Google buy Boeing.
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post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

We never heard a word about smart watches. Then a rumor arrives that Apple is making one. Suddenly Samsung and Google are frantically trying to make one. And after the iWatch is released, Samsung and Google will throw out their designs and will copy the iWatch.
They don't wait anymore. They put out a piece of junk that looks like the rumor. Then after Apple releases the actual product, Google and/or Samsung accuses Apple of copying THEM. After studying the actual Apple product they release a v.2 to copy what it actually turned out to be.
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post #13 of 61

Google and Samdung wants to flood the markets with their cheap junks. They are just racing towards eating Apple business rather than focusing on quality products.

 

I wonder when will Apple release Search! 


Edited by helicopterben - 8/30/13 at 4:22pm
post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Please, Apple, leak a rumor that you're working on a the iPlane just to watch Google buy Boeing.


Love it. That's the comment of the day.

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post #15 of 61

I wonder when will Apple release Search!

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

We never heard a word about smart watches. Then a rumor arrives that Apple is making one. Suddenly Samsung and Google are frantically trying to make one. And after the iWatch is released, Samsung and Google will throw out their designs and will copy the iWatch.

I'm not sure that that is correct.

 

The Pebble smart watch concept went thru Y combinator several years ago, before sourcing additional crowd funding on Kickstarter.com (2nd most successul capital raising ever on that site). Nike (and other companies) then launched Nike Fuelband and other wearable wrist devices that include biometric sensors.

 

Then we started hearing rumours about an Apple iWatch that sounds as though it will (hopefully!) seamlessly merge these two emerging tech categories.

 

As is often the case, Apple will likely produce a best in breed device that elegantly combines and makes use of existing technological platforms. 

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post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

I'm not sure that that is correct.

 

The Pebble smart watch concept went thru Y combinator several years ago, before sourcing additional crowd funding on Kickstarter.com (2nd most successul capital raising ever on that site). Nike (and other companies) then launched Nike Fuelband and other wearable wrist devices that include biometric sensors.

 

Then we started hearing rumours about an Apple iWatch that sounds as though it will (hopefully!) seamlessly merge these two emerging tech categories.

 

As is often the case, Apple will likely produce a best in breed device that elegantly combines and makes use of existing technological platforms. 

 

Sony and Samsung have also been in the smart watch industry for years now.  That's not to imply that they've been wildly successful, just that the idea isn't as new as some here seem to believe.

post #18 of 61

Oh, Please! STOP this nonsense. 

I doubt people will care for this thing.

post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

We never heard a word about smart watches. Then a rumor arrives that Apple is making one. Suddenly Samsung and Google are frantically trying to make one. And after the iWatch is released, Samsung and Google will throw out their designs and will copy the iWatch.

Google apparently bought smartwatch developer WIMM last summer. Google patent applications for a smartwatch go back much farther than that. When did a possible Apple smartwatch rumor first start making the rounds? It doesn't look like a reaction to a piece of Apple vaporware but maybe it is.
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post #20 of 61

I think a wearable pocket watch that could also be a clip on would be a practical rumour feed by Apple. Details such as size and thickness would help the rumour. With such info FacsimileSam could come out with one bigger but slimmer than the purported Apple pocket watch/broach.

 

For fun I pulled out my old watch and wore it for a week. I could not get used to the thing. Now an Apple pocket watch or maybe an Apple nipple ring, I'd give it a try.

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post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

I think a wearable pocket watch that could also be a clip on would be a practical rumour feed by Apple. Details such as size and thickness would help the rumour. With such info FacsimileSam could come out with one bigger but slimmer than the purported Apple pocket watch/broach.

 

For fun I pulled out my old watch and wore it for a week. I could not get used to the thing. Now an Apple pocket watch or maybe an Apple nipple ring, I'd give it a try.

 

 

I do not have a phone. My iPod fits in my pocket quite well.

If there is anything, it will not be a watch, in my ignorant opinion. You may have to wear it, tho.

post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Oh, Please! STOP this nonsense. 
I doubt people will care for this thing.

Then it will go away and you won't have to worry.

Meanwhile, it's not hurting you, so why are you so adamantly opposed? The watch business is worth $40 B per year. If someone gets even a couple percent of that with a wearable watch (and, even assuming that the total market doesn't grow), that's still real money.
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post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopterben View Post

I wonder when will Apple release Search!
Siri: Are you serious? I was built to kick Google's gl-ASS!
post #24 of 61
Why is Google messing around buying a smart watch maker when they should be getting into the clothing industry.

How else are Android users going to get pockets that they can finally fit their phones into?
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post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Then it will go away and you won't have to worry.

Meanwhile, it's not hurting you, so why are you so adamantly opposed? The watch business is worth $40 B per year. If someone gets even a couple percent of that with a wearable watch (and, even assuming that the total market doesn't grow), that's still real money.

 

 

I know nothing, i know.

I just think there is something fishy about this smart watch thing.

 

You see the next iPhone everywhere, but the iWatch is nowhere.

post #26 of 61
JD you should do a little research and get you facts right. Smart watches have been around before Apple watch rumors started.
post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

We never heard a word about smart watches. Then a rumor arrives that Apple is making one. Suddenly Samsung and Google are frantically trying to make one. And after the iWatch is released, Samsung and Google will throw out their designs and will copy the iWatch.
Get your facts right. Smart watches have been around long before Apple smart watch rumors even started.
post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by idogwireless View Post

Get your facts right. Smart watches have been around long before Apple smart watch rumors even started.

Yeah, just like smart phones existed before iPhones! You are hilarious! No, I take that back ... pathetic.
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post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Why is Google messing around buying a smart watch maker when they should be getting into the clothing industry.

How else are Android users going to get pockets that they can finally fit their phones into?

Google would only get into the clothing industry if they heard a rumor Apple was ...1biggrin.gif
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post #30 of 61
Apple can upend entire industries with mere rumors.

I think they should seed all kinds of rumors to throw their competitors off their trail and let them waste their R&D and marketing on dead-ends.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

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post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Yeah, just like smart phones existed before iPhones! You are hilarious! No, I take that back ... pathetic.

Are you actually suggesting that the iPhone was the first smartphone?
post #32 of 61

Incoming shitstorm in 3...2...

post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Are you actually suggesting that the iPhone was the first smartphone?

No, he was implying that before Apple they really weren't that smart.
post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by idogwireless View Post


Get your facts right. Smart watches have been around long before Apple smart watch rumors even started.


Of course they have. But they were not the hot topic in tech news (on sites like AppleInsider/CNET etc) until the iWatch rumor appeared. That was my point.

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post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Apple can upend entire industries with mere rumors.

I think they should seed all kinds of rumors to throw their competitors off their trail and let them waste their R&D and marketing on dead-ends.

The industry moves hearing such rumors of Apple coz apple has disrupted industries before in the past. Hence the industry takes Apples directions very seriously now. It's a common thing. Prove your self a bunch of times and it's hard to ignore you.
post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Google would only get into the clothing industry if they heard a rumor Apple was ...1biggrin.gif

Don't forget the smart shoe
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post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Next year, you, the public and NSA can search your biometric data for free! Plus hear the hourly chime as a 30 sec audio commercial. Thanks Google.

 

Maybe if Americans were more like the French, German or Icelandic none of this NSA stuff would have happened and more people of American power would be serving time in prison. The whole nation needs to take their finger out and peacefully march on the streets. And I mean the whole nation. Without absolutely everyone it won't work. The 'Freedom and Accountability March' . Without something like that nothing will change.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopterben View Post

I wonder when will Apple release Search!

 

You just said that twice.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

 

Sony and Samsung have also been in the smart watch industry for years now.  That's not to imply that they've been wildly successful, just that the idea isn't as new as some here seem to believe.

 

What is a smart watch? And given your definition, show me Sony's and Samsung's first.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

 

 

I do not have a phone. My iPod fits in my pocket quite well.

If there is anything, it will not be a watch, in my ignorant opinion. You may have to wear it, tho.

 

I don't know. When it comes to wearable computing given the current evolvement of technology it seems the wrist is the perfect appendage.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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