Bump, a smartphone data sharing start-up has been acquired by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), according to a statement from the company’s CEO David Lieb. The firm said that Bump would continue to operate as it always has for now, but users should look out for updates in the future. The amount that Google paid for the company was not disclosed.
Bump allows users to share information between smartphones, but it has one major difference from other services. Bump demands that users physically touch their phones. The novelty of the service is both the greatest strength and greatest weakness of the company. According to The Verge, 60 million people got the App in 2011, but it’s failed to make much of a mark since.
Google getting physical
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been experimenting with different kinds of computers lately. The firm is focused on wearable devices, while it slaps its brand on high-quality smartphones and tablets made by others. The wearable device market will probably work very differently to the smartphone market. Google may be looking at Bump as a physical tool for a physical computer.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has released developer versions of its wearable computer Google Glass, but it has not yet given any indication of the release date or release features to be expected of the device. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is moving onto physical computers, and Bump may have been a cheap acquisition to bolster experimental features.
That said, Bump could work as an incremental positive on Google’s Android platform. Bump works by sharing data over a carrier’s network. The service does not use NFC, a technology not found on all devices. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may make Bump an Android feature. Some Android phones are already able to share data using a physical Bump over NFC.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been busily acquiring start-ups in 2013, as it has for the last few years. The company greedily buys out talent and ideas in order to feed them into its own products. Unfortunately, buying ideas leaves companies with a lot of breakage. Bump may never again see the light of day.
If it does, it may just be a software version of NFC, or it may be used in a more innovative way in one of the wearable devices Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is looking into.