News is coming in that Google secretly acquired Android smartwatch maker WIMM Labs last year to enhance its own smartwatch plans. GigaOM broke this news late Friday and it was later confirmed by Google.
To give you guys a quick background, WIMM Labs was a Silicon Valley based company, which released a developer kit in 2011 that allowed Android developers and accessory makers to create micro-apps and accessories for the wearable displays. The company followed it with a developer-centric Android smartwatch ‘WIMM One’ in late-2011.
WIMM One got more than decent reviews for a product that was still in its infancy. Then, about a year ago, the company disappeared and left the following message on its website.
During the summer of 2012, WIMM Labs entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology and ceased sales of the Developer Preview Kit. Existing WIMM One owners can continue to synchronize their devices at this time as well as contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turns out this exclusive and confidential relationship is with Google, which bought the company and clearly wanted to keep this a secret. According to GigaOM, WIMM’s employees (whoever stayed at Google) are now working with the Android team.
We have been hearing for quite a while now that Google is working on some kind of a smartwatch but details are very scarce. We have also heard that Google wanted to tweak Android code in the next Android release (Key Lime Pie) to make it friendlier for wearable devices. WIMM fits perfectly in both these plans. The company can help Google with the hardware efforts as well as its developer platform can be help in making Android a better platform for the next-generation of wearable devices.