Google quietly buys smartwatch maker Wimm Labs to boost its own plans
Google apparently - and quietly - bought Wimm Labs in 2012 to help further development on its own Android-based smartwatch product, according to a new report.
GigaOm reported on Friday that Wimm Labs suddenly "went dark" sometime last summer. The company, which first released a smartwatch called the Wimm One in 2011, deleted its social network accounts, halted production of its developer kit and revealed on its website that it had entered an "exclusive, confidential relationship".
That relationship was with Google. Wimm Labs' employees are currently working under Google's Android team, but Google hadn't even confirmed the Wimm Labs acquisition until reports began circulating on Friday. One other thing worth mentioning: Google also got its hands on the web domain smartwatch.com when it acquired Wimm Labs.
There isn't much else to go on, but GigaOm pointed to Wimm's platform - which was based on Android - as evidence that Google is serious about developing its own Android smartwatch. Rumours of a Google smartwatch have circulated for quite sometime but gained speed in early 2013 after Samsung confirmed it had plans to jump into the watch market.
Speaking of Samsung, the company will finally unveil a smartwatch in just a few days. Apple, Microsoft and LG are among the other tech giants supposedly interested in developing wrist-type wearables.
As for when we would actually see a smartwatch from Google, GigaOm asserted "sooner rather than later." The Wall Street Journal also recently reported that Google is working on a smartwatch.
Update: A Google spokesperson has confirmed the acquisition to The Verge. We've contacted Google for a comment and will update when more information becomes available.