Google buys smart-watch-maker WIMM Labs: Speculation time!

Google has bought a company called WIMM Labs, which makes Android smart watches, fuelling speculation Google is working on one of its own.

Google has bought a company called WIMM Labs, which makes smart watches that run on the big G's Android operating system, GigaOM reports. Which hints quite heavily that we could see a Google timepiece on the way before too long.

WIMM Labs released its first smart watch back in 2011 -- the WIMM One -- and then last summer entered into an "exclusive, confidential relationship" that it couldn't talk about. Seems that relationship is with none other than Google.

Employees of WIMM Labs are said to be beavering away on new devices, working under Google's Android team. The WIMM One included a platform for developers to make apps for it, so we could see a separate Google Play store with apps specially made for Android-powered smart watches. But it's early days yet.

The WIMM One was ridiculously small -- titchier even than an iPod nano. Reviews at the time said it was full of potential, with a 1.4-inch touchscreen showing apps that were colourful and playful, and that were designed to make the most of the smaller display. Under Google's guidance, this has the potential to be a killer product.

There's no word on when we'll see a Google watch. The company will have to get a move on, though. Samsung will unveil its Galaxy Gear smart watch on Wednesday at IFA, and Sony announced its SmartWatch2 earlier in the summer. Apple is also said to have an iWatch up its sleeve, while LG , Microsoft , and more are also working on their own techy time-tellers.

What would you like to see from a Google watch? Can its open source software offer something that Apple's watch won't? Or are smart watches just a flash in the pan? Let me know in the comments, or hop on over to our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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