Google has purchased multitouch software company Bumptop. Bumptop’s technology simulates a real-life desk by allowing you to move around, hang, and stack applications and files in 3D. Bumptop is compatible with both PCs and Macs, but I assume Google wants the technology for an upcoming tablet. GigaOm has more:
If Google is working on an iPad-style tablet, as many believe that it is, a BumpTop-style interface would be dramatic departure from the typical 2-D app/icon approach, and could provide a significant alternative to the look and feel of Apple’s iPad.
Sources…ay Google is looking at the company’s 3-D, multi-touch interface — or elements of it — as a potential addition to a tablet device. Mark McQueen at Wellington Financial also seems to see the potential for this, saying in his blog post:
“Given the arm wrestling going on between Apple and Google over who will have the sweetest user experience, Bumptop’s cool desktop and underlying technology are a natural piece of Google’s user interface puzzle as they prepare to take on the current kings of all consumer electronics. The ones down the street in Cupertino.”
No terms for the acquisition were provided, but the Wellington Financial blog speculates that the price was in the $35 million to $40-million range. According to a recent profile of the company in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto-based company has raised $1.65 million from GrowthWorks Capital and Extreme Venture Partners, as well as angel investor and former Macintosh designer Andy Hertzfeld. According to Startup North, Canadian entrepreneur and angel investor Austin Hill was also involved in funding the company.
Google does appear to be working on a tablet. The more positive differentiation Google can get, the better. I look forward to seeing what Google comes up with.