Google acquires Flutter, bringing Kinect-like gesture recognition on board
Google may soon be adding a wave of the hand to its products. Start-up Flutter, known for gesture recognition technology, announced that it has been acquired by Google. The acquisition could have big implications for future additions to Google Glass, Android, Gmail, and other Google products that are in the works, as gesture-recognition technology has become big in recent years.
"Today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our research at Google," Flutter wrote. "We share Google’s passion for 10x thinking, and we’re excited to add their rocket fuel to our journey."
Flutter launched three years ago. It's an app available on the Mac App Store for $5 that uses the webcam on your computer, so you can control iTunes, Spotify, VLC, and QuickTime using hand gestures. Unlike Microsoft's Kinect technology, a user isn't required to go out and buy separate hardware - they can use what's built-in. The company's founder Mehul Nariyawala has said: "Flutter wants to power the eyes of our devices — in the same way that Siri functions as the iPhone’s ears."
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, and Google hasn't provided word on future product plans - not that we expect it to right now. Flutter says users will be able to continue using their app and that future updates will be shared soon. How long Flutter plans to keep its apps open remains a mystery.
“We’re really impressed by the Flutter team’s ability to design new technology based on cutting-edge research," a Google spokeman told TechCrunch in a statement. "We look forward to supporting and collaborating on their research efforts at Google.”
At any rate, it's not like Google is just going to sit on Flutter and do nothing, right? Perhaps we'll see hand gestures in Gmail or Chrome OS. A YouTube user has a great look at Flutter's features.