Google buys webcam gesture app Flutter

Flutter, the app that lets you control music and movie playback using gestures picked up by a webcam, is to continue life as a Google product. The innovative app is the latest acquisition by the search giant, and comes just three years after the company was founded in San Francisco, California. Flutter is extremely upbeat about the purchase, seemingly keen to reap the benefits of the Google marketing machine.

Flutter CEO Navneet Dalal announces the acquisition on the Flutter website:

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When we started three years ago, our dream to build a ubiquitous and power-efficient gesture recognition technology was considered by many as just "a dream", not a real possibility. Since then, we have strived to build the best machine vision algorithms and a delightful user experience.

Even after we launched our first app, we didn’t stop our research; your enthusiasm and support pushed us to continue to do better. We’re inspired everyday when we hear, for example, that Flutter makes you feel like a superhero -- because any sufficiently advanced technology should be indistinguishable from magic, right?

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.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of our users; your feedback and evangelism inspire us every day. Flutter users will be able to continue to use the app, and stay tuned for future updates.

So what could all this mean? At this stage it is mere speculation, but there is certainly scope for Flutter's webcam driven gesture technology to be incorporated into a future version of Android or used as a touchscreen alternative for Chromebooks.

A Google spokesman told me: "We’re really impressed by the Flutter team’s ability to design new technology based on cutting-edge research. We look forward to supporting and collaborating on their research efforts at Google".

In the meantime it is still possible to download the app and use it to control apps such as Spotify, VLC and iTunes in OS X and Windows.

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