Google Acquires Flutter And Its Gesture Technology

google acquires flutter

Imagine you could flip through Web pages, play videos or scroll down important documents with a simple hand gesture. A free download called Flutter for both Apple and Windows gives a glimpse of how gesture technology could improve productivity.

For now, Flutter allows you to use gestures to control your video on YouTube and Netflix and music on Spotify, iTunes, Grooveshark and Pandora. The app uses the built in webcam on your desktop to read simple hand gestures for starting or stopping music or video.

Here’s a brief demonstration:

Google Acquires Flutter

Flutter announced being acquired by Google last week. TechCrunch estimates the deal could be worth around $40 million.

Writing about the acquisition on the official Flutter website, CEO Navneet Dalal explains:

“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.”

It is uncertain yet whether the Flutter team will go on developing and upgrading the company’s existing product or bake their technology in to Google products like Google Glass, for example.

Flutter is hardly the only company developing products using gesture technology. Other examples include PrimeSense, Leap Motion and Omek Interactive (recently acquired by Intel.)

But the acquisition is proof again that development of a single useful and revolutionary tool can catapult a small startup to a huge payoff.

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Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

12 Reactions
  1. A huge payoff, indeed, Shawn!

    Of all, I personally a fan of Leap Motion. However, Flutter’s motion detection via a webcam is both convenience and accessible to most of us.

    I can only imagine Googling with Flutter – much more fun, IMO.

    • Hi Ivan,
      My own suspicion is that it’s the simplicity of the technology that appealed here–to Google at least. Flutter developers created the app with the notion of using a simple gesture to operate it as opposed to systems that require you to “scroll” your hand around as if it was a mouse.

  2. This is the next generation of touch – hand gesture technology. I have seen a good number of phones implementing this and I am pretty sure that we’ll soon see some hand gesture monitors, televisions, mobile phones and tablets.

    • The Aira,
      The trick, I suppose, is to design it to be versatile enough to allow the user to perform a variety of functions yet simple enough so that the gestures needed to operate it are not too complex to be really practical.

  3. Flipping through Web pages, playing videos or scrolling down important documents with a simple hand gesture using a free download called Flutter is something interesting and should be explored in the near future.

  4. It looks like they are bringing tony stark’s house tech into reality! At least gesture part in that!!!

  5. Shawn: I haven’t heard about Flutter. Thanks for sharing the news. Could I use this technology for my vlogging, podcasting, netcasting? 😉

  6. This will definitely prove to be a profit for Google, people want to have the technology of Tony Starks house.