Google Acquires Gesture Recognition Tech Firm Flutter for $40M


06 October 2013


Google Acquires Gesture Recognition Tech Firm Flutter for $40M
Google Glass and Android may undergo radical changes in the future. This is because Google has acquired Flutter, a company whose primary stock-in-trade is gesture recognition technology. Its first and only product is an application that detects and recognizes gestures from standard devices with the help of a web camera.
The terms of the transaction were not announced, but reports suggest that Google paid upwards of $40M USD in this deal. Flutter has already confirmed the news on its official website, along with an announcement that the company will continue to develop its product. Keep in mind that the Mac App Store is already dealing with Flutter, which gained a substantial amount of popularity in 90 countries, having taken 5th place in that application store. Within first two weeks after launching, the application was run more than 1 million times.
At present, gesture recognition technology remains an important area in the tech space. Microsoft’s Kinect and Leap Motion’s sensor product both use this concept. Many other companies are already investing into researching this type of technology for their own projects. Apple appears to be holding back for the time being, but even that might change.
Whether Flutter will continue to exist as a separate platform, or become eventually integrated into Google products—and how—is not yet known. Flutter CEO Navneet Dalal commented, "When we started three years ago, our dream to build a ubiquitous and power-efficient gesture recognition technology [that] was considered by many as just 'a dream', not a real possibility...Today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our research at Google. We share Google’s passion for 10x thinking, and we’re excited to add their rocket fuel to our journey."
Obviously, the quote speaks of an optimistic future independent of meddling from the new parent company. However, the timing of the acquisition seems extremely convenient, given the popularity of the company on hardware owned by its primary competitor in the mobile space. Was this acquisition made to add real value to Google applications and hardware, or simply to keep gesture recognition out of the hands of Apple? We’ll have to wait and see.