Ina Fried

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Google Confirms It Has Acquired Smart Watch Maker WIMM Labs

dick_tracy_watchGoogle on Friday confirmed that the company had quietly acquired the team behind WIMM Labs, one of the early players in the smart watch category.

The team, which had released a developer version of its watch technology, is now said to be part of Google’s Android team, sources said.

Google declined further comment on what the team was up to or how it planned to use the technology.

GigaOM reported earlier Friday that Google had quietly acquired WIMM.

On its website, WIMM noted that it had been working with a single company but didn’t explicitly mention a sale or the name of that company.

“During the summer of 2012, WIMM Labs entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology and ceased sales of the Developer Preview Kit,” the company said. WIMM has continued to support those who bought one of its developer edition watches.

Word of the acquisition comes as competition is heating up in the market for high-tech wristwear. Sony is on the second generation of its product, while Samsung plans to announce its Galaxy Gear watch next week. Apple and others are also said to be eyeing the wrist for potential products.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work