Google acquired Android smartwatch developer WIMM Labs last year

Wimm One smartwatchIf there was any doubt that Google was looking to compete in the emerging wearable technology space and already working on a smartwatch, the news that it acquired Android smartwatch maker WIMM Labs should be strong evidence if not proof. In fact, it did so about a year ago but news of the acquisition is only now coming to light. The story was broken by GigaOM and Google shortly after confirmed the acquisition.

WIMM, which would be about four years old at this point, offered two products that would make it attractive to Google. The first was an Android-based developer platform for wearable displays. It allowed third-party developers to build their own “micro apps,” applications that would work independently from your smartphone and even extend an accessory’s functionality beyond that device. WIMM then used this platform to build their own smartwatch, the WIMM One.

Last summer, WIMM announced that it had “entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology and ceased sales of the Developer Preview Kit” and went quiet. While some speculated that Apple was that partner, we now know that it was instead Google. The report adds that a portion of WIMM’s staff has stayed on and are now working with the Android team.

It remains unclear if and when Google will unveil a smartwatch of its own. With its Motorola division also working on such a project, whether independently or in conjunction with Google is unclear, it appears that wearable technology is a priority for the company.

Other manufacturers are already in the game or about to jump in. Sony released its SmartWatch 2 earlier this summer, the Pebble has been out for a while now (and even on sale at Best Buy in the U.S.), and Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Gear next week. Other players expected to jump in are Apple, Microsoft, and Qualcomm (with the Zola?) to name but a few.

Source : GigaOM