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Google buys Gecko Design for X projects

The product-design firm will be put to work on some of Google's most "cutting edge" projects.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Google is buying product-design firm Gecko to bolster the efforts of Google X, the search giant's experimental division that carries out its most ambitious projects.

Gecko announced the acquisition on its website Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gecko, based in Los Gatos, Calif., has previously helped design products for clients including Fitbit, Hewlett Packard, Dell, and Logitech. Google confirmed the deal, but declined to provide further comment.

"This is an incredible opportunity for everyone at Gecko," wrote Jacques Gagne, design firm's president and owner, on its website. "We are very excited and honored to join Google(x) and work on a variety of cutting edge projects."

Gecko offers several services during the design process, including mechanical design work like assembly layout. The firm, which has been around since 1996, has worked with top industrial design firms like Frog Design and Fuseproject, which was founded by design veteran and Jawbone Chief Creative Officer Yves Behar.

Google's X division is responsible for the company's most out-there projects, which it calls "moon shots." Several of those initiatives have hardware components where Gecko could get involved. The company's head-mounted device, Google Glass, has run into image problems in its current form, now available to the general public. Earlier this month, the company was granted patents that hint a more low-key design, which looks more like ordinary glasses.

The X team has also worked on projects that range from driverless cars to smart contact lenses to high-altitude Wi-Fi balloons that aim to bring connectivity to rural regions.