Google has acquired another software startup to boost its arsenal of technologies. This week the search company has bought Flutter, the maker of motion control software for apps including media player VLC, Spotify, iTunes and Google's own Chrome browser.
The app, which runs on both Apple's OS X and Windows 7 and above, does not require any extra hardware in order to work and makes use of pre-existing webcams in order to provide its motion controls.
Flutter broke the news in a statement on its website, saying: "Even after we launched our first app, we didn't stop our research; your enthusiasm and support pushed us to continue to do better.
"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."
The firm added that users would still be able to download its apps, and that it would provide updates in the near future.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the acquisition shows clear intent from Google to ramp up its development of hands-free technology. For business users, there are a few choices already available for gesture-controlled computer use, although none have really grabbed the market as yet and are still seen as both clunky and gimmicky.
Microsoft has touted its Xbox and Kinect hardware as a business tool, with many programmers developing their Kinect-based solutions for tasks ranging from web-surfing to surgery. Meanwhile, Leap Motion markets bespoke, PC-based hardware for £70 in the UK but has not yet gained a dominant hold on the market.
Google's buy opens up plenty of opportunities both for its phone and tablet hardware, as well as Chromebooks and the upcoming Google Glass headset. Other phones based on the firm's Android operating system already include motion control software, including the Samsung Galaxy S4, which heavily markets gesture-based actions such as changing tracks in a music player or navigating the web.
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