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Google Reportedly Bought WIMM Labs Last Year, Maker of Android Smartwatches to Help Its Own Cause

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In a recent scoop that was picked up by GigaOm, a major transaction secretly took place last year around summer time between Google and WIMM Labs. WIMM Labs was a producer of Android-powered smartwatches, with its first watch launching back in 2011 called, WIMM One. The watch was very developer centric, and when it hit the market, it apparently did not gain too much traction. Although, if a product is good enough for Google to notice, then you could be sitting on a goldmine. 

Here is an excerpt taken from their site, smartwatch.com.

During the summer of 2012, WIMM Labs entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology.

The recent rumors of Google creating their own smartwatch have been getting more credible over the past few months, with recent reports stating that the Android team would be the lead developers for the device. To also lend credibility are recent patent filings and things of that nature that we have discussed before. According to GigaOm, WIMM Labs’ team of developers went on after the acquisition to work for Google, and have been working closely with the Android team to help produce Google’s smartwatch.

All of this lends more credit to the idea that when Google does finally announce a smartwatch, we can rest assured it won’t be some half-baked science fair project. Google has taken their time and have spent lots of resources on this project, with GigaOm even speculating that Andy Rubin could have some part in it. As for Rubin’s involvement, we find it far stretched, but anything is possible these days.

Via: GigaOm

  • MichaelCrackMonkey

    I wear watches all the time and carry my phone. I would love a well designed metallic watch that was water-proof and was synced to my phone. This is one of those products where you either love it or hate it. I think there will be a big market for a smartwatch assuming that it’s well designed, looks nice, and has good functionality.

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  • Avery Dejuan Herron

    If they put a cellular radio in it I will not buy it I have s phone why do I need another one on my wrist?

    • http://www.gorecording.com/ Nicholassss

      Cell servives to a watch at this point in time is far fetched and pointless, I agree. they need a clever and *efficient* bluetooth sync. And for god sakes make it look good.

  • rk

    Nice thing about a google nexus smartwatch as opposed to a samsung smartwatch is the ecosystem that will come with it and enable all android manufacturers and developers.

  • joejoe5709

    I really like the idea of a smartwatch. Who needs active notifications and notification LED’s when you have a smartwatch? Beautiful. Wearables is the future and there’s huge potential here. If I may have my geek-out wishlist…

    Make the smartwatch compatible with Chromecast/Smart TV’s. I don’t necessarily want to watch a video on my smartwatch, but I’d love to cast it to my TV and control the video without pulling out my phone.

  • zurginator

    Just PLEASE hire a half-decent designer?
    http://i.imgur.com/628lWig.jpg

    • tomn1ce

      Metal bands would be nice. I would buy one if they would make it like that. I’m not a fan of plastic or leather bands.

      • http://www.gorecording.com/ Nicholassss

        make it look good enough its worth buying a nice band for it. i dont want an it to look like pone of those iPod nano watch straps.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths
    • Tommy Thompson

      Everything on the WIMM was pretty bad. The screen, performance, etc. I won one from Android Community and it wasn’t worth it. I do hope Google can turn it into a great product though.

  • j__h

    Hopefully they do not go the route of a standalone device, but a device that heavily depends on a smartphone and thus can have long battery life and great functionality.

    • joejoe5709

      Agreed. I don’t even care if it has 3G/4G radios. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wifi n or ac will do just fine.

    • kashtrey

      It should be standalone in the sense that it can perform tasks independent of your smartphone such as checking off an item on a to-do list or or being able to pull up a Starbucks barcode to pay for you drink. They definitely shouldn’t go the route of a phone replacement.

      It needs to balance having useful functionality when you have your phone off and enhancing the experience when it’s paired.

      • kashtrey

        Saw a post below that made me start thinking of possibilities. It would ideally have maybe 2 – 4 Gb of memory. You’d be able to push a playlist from your phone to it so you could leave your phone at home and go on a run. It should definitely have fitness sensors that allow it to track your run (so once again you can leave your phone at home).

        Stuff like that. The phone should be how you manage and control what’s on the watch but it needs to be able to perform things independently when it’s logical to do so.

  • Caleb

    I still can’t believe they were able to keep this acquisition under wraps for an entire year.

    • joejoe5709

      They’ve been doing much better about keeping secrets. We’re about a month or two away from a MASSIVE software and product update and we haven’t heard a single scrap of solid news. They’ve got their pipeline locked up.

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  • Tony Stark

    Does someone have a legitimate reason to buy a smartwatch? I want to like it, but I just don’t see it.

    • Ken Bosse

      I’m with you. I know a guy who had one for meetings and stuff like that, but chances are my phones right on my desk in front of me anway. So why do I need a watch? I like the technology and the idea, just don’t see it for me.

      • Tony Stark

        What did he do with it?

    • aye_winchell

      I hate watches so there of no use to me, but when i showed the pebble to my gf she was like so when am i getting one, apparently she said if she can use it as pedometer and also to control music she would use it while working out, she usually doesn’t have her phone on her i guess, no pockets i suppose, so that’s one actual legitimate reason.

      • Tony Stark

        I can see that… just don’t know how I’d feel about sweating all over a piece of electronic…

        • aye_winchell

          ya i hear ya, but i have seated all over my phone before while playing ball, as long as it wipes down ok then it shouldn’t be a big deal, to me it just feels weird have something around my wrist like that, maybe that why i never went emo.

          • sk3litor

            If you went emo the only thing you’d have around your wrist are scars.

        • joseph barrientos

          im in meetings almost all day, and being able to see if a call,text or email is important is a worthy factor for me, plus not needing to pull out your phone from quick searches etc, is a pretty good deal

    • Asmodai

      I haven’t worn a watch since I got a smartphone but I wouldn’t mind wearing one again if it told time all the time (none of this blank screen to conserve power junk) and sync’d the time off the phone so I never had to set it. When people call it would also need to display the caller ID with an option reject from the watch (you’d have to use the phone or another bluetooth device to actually answer, I don’t want to have a conversation with my wrist). It would also need notification ability so when I receive an email it displayed maybe the subject line and from fields, texts, tweets, etc. with a running count of the unread. (again to COMPOSE or even read long messages/see attachments you’d need to use the phone) Then I can just throw my phone in my backpack and get most of the info without having to pull it out all the time just to realize whatever it was can wait and putting it back away.

      • Tony Stark

        I definitely see the benefit of being able to reject a call from your wrist vs. pulling out your phone

      • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

        You just described the pebble. I can literally do all of that one mine. Not all of it is out of the box, but add one or two apps and it does everything you want. Plus it is water resistant to 5ATM.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      When i’m on the sales floor at work, phones aren’t allowed to be out because it’s a distraction and people can steal every panty in the store. Having a watch would keep me in tune with my phone while not breaking any rules. It may or may not still be a distraction : S

      • Tony Stark

        Sneaky!

      • Dylan

        I’ve seen this argument a couple times “I can’t look at my phone while in meetings. I can’t look at my phone on the clock.” If people see you swiping and staring at your watch all the time, you don’t think they’ll put in a place to tell people no watches?

        If you’ve had the “pleasure” of trying to read messages, texts, emails, etc from a smart-watch, you’ll know how obvious it is that you’re not just checking the time.

        • Daeshaun Griffiths

          But it’s not breaking the rules, just a little twist and bend. Like a loophole in a lawsuit.

    • shecalledmejay

      To tell time without pulling out your phone. Every other feature is a bonus

    • NexusMan

      Because it looks good. Not everyone wears watches, but for those of us who do, and who also happen to be into tech, it’s killing 2 birds with one stone….If it’s fashionable AND provides some technological functionality….sounds good to me.

    • michael arazan

      Great for medical needs, especially one that that tells blood pressure & heart rate, can count the sugars in the blood stream for diabetics, list allergy notifications for emergencies some medical alert bracelets only have a small amount of space a smart watch could list an almost infinite amount, the ideas for the medical/ health industry would have a lot of uses.

      • Tony Stark

        Are these features that you want, or confirmed features?

      • sk3litor

        I like the way you think my man.i think too many people lokk at it like “why do I need this” when they should look at it like “how can this benefit me”? That being said I dont see too many elderly having smartphones to then pair them with thier smartwatch. They’d be the hippest person in the bingo tent though. I could picture it now though, “beep” “beep” as paramedics race franticalyy to find whos heart moniter is going off? Or “BINGO” “beep” “beep” “beep” “beep”………

    • Dylan

      I have a MotoActv. When I first got it I wore it all the time. A few months after owning it I rooted it to side-load stuff. Eventually I returned to stock because I couldn’t find anything worth using on a smart-watch that it didn’t already do. I stopped wearing it for anything other than workouts because I’d rather just use my phone to read messages.

      It’s a fantastic exercise tool. For my data-nerd/OCD tendencies I have a HRM, running cadence sensor, and a bike speed/cadence sensor. It has space enough for a couple hours of music, and a radio in case I get bored of that. The gps and map are useful enough if I’m out exploring new routes. If I’m carrying my phone, I can take calls on it. When I get home it syncs up data over my WiFi automatically. The only thing it IS missing is wireless music sync. This was the main reason I rooted. Couldn’t find a decent enough app at the time that worked well on such a small screen, and I was too busy to try and write my own.

      To this end, I see smart watches as being useful for medical/fitness/stats tracking and Audio/MP3 players. But as a way to just get notifications and read messages, I see it as a bit of a white elephant for now.

    • Kisuk3

      I completely agree with you, but remember all the tech companies that played catch up for years after Apple released the iphone. If Apple, Samsung, Google or whoever launches a smart watch and its the next big thing, and your a company that has nothing invented in this hardware, your really going to miss out big.

  • Adam’s YellowTaxicab

    This could be usefull