3 Reasons Google Bought Bump Technologies


Google this week continued its acquisition mania with the buyout of Bump Technologies, makers of BumpTop, a 3D desktop interface with multitouch capabilities.

The Bump Buy is Google’s ninth public acquisition in 2010. In just more than four months Google has scooped up a host of companies in various technologies including visual search, chipsets and social networking.

The Bump Technologies and BumpTop acquisition gives Google a new set of ammo for its arsenal. Here are three reasons the Bump Technologies buy is a winner for Google.

1. Google gets more multitouch capabilities. Yes, Google already has some multitouch functionality – much to Apple’s chagrin – in its Google Android smartphones, but the addition of a three-year-old proven desktop software from Bump Technologies puts a new layer of icing on the multitouch cake. While Apple already offers some multitouch capabilities like pinch-to-zoom and flick, BumpTop delivers some gestures that are specific to its 3D desktop software, like the ability to drag two fingers to focus on the desktop’s back wall. Anything that can differentiate Google’s multitouch capabilities from Apple’s is a feather in Google’s cap.

2. BumpTop could pave the way for a Google tablet. The acquisition of Bump Technologies could mean a touch-screen Google tablet, or “gPad,” isn’t just vapor or rumor. The BumpTop buy comes just as Apple reveals that it sold more than one million Apple iPad tablets since the device hit stores in early April. The ability to build a tablet around a 3D desktop interface gives Google a clear differentiator. And while the Apple iPad is the tablet to beat right now, a Google Android-based tablet, especially one built around BumpTop, could put a stick in Apple’s spokes.

3. The Bump Technologies purchase is just one piece of Google’s master plan. Google has been paving the way dive head first into new markets. Along with Bump, Google this year has also acquired social search company Aardvark; hardware maker Agnilux; Microsoft Office collaboration suite DocVerse; video streaming company Episodic; game application and widget maker LabPixies; online photo editor Picnik; visual search provider Plink; and mobile email search provider reMail. While it’s not 100 percent clear what Google plans to do with all of its newly-acquired technologies, one thing is certain: Google’s plans go well beyond just a 3D multitouch desktop. Combined, Google’s 2010 acquisitions have the muscle to build an unstoppable fleet of mobile offerings that tie in everything from video to search and from widgets to a multitouch desktop, with chips and document management thrown in for good measure.