Google has acquired Gecko Design to focus on hardware projects, securing product-design capabilities for its research X Lab.
The news was announced on Friday on Gecko’s website, though terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Gecko begins by developing consumer electronics, working with engineers early in the process. But the California-based company extends their involvement through supply chain management and moving the materials into manufacturing and producing finished goods.
The company, founded by Jacques Gagne in 1996, focuses on consumer product development, working with industrial design firms such as Fuseproject, frog design, and Newdeal Design. Gecko’s clients include Hewlett-Packard home and business, Logitech and Slingmedia. The company’s engineers also previously worked with Warner Bros on touchscreen monitor components in the futuristic product placement for Dell Computers in the 2000 film “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.”
Gecko Design gives Google some substantial product design expertise to help bring new hardware to the market. Earlier in the year, rumors indicated that Google was shopping around for Jawbone or similar wearable design makers, but it seems that Google preferred to acquire a design partner of these startups rather than the startups themselves.
Google will need additional expertise, such as supply chain knowledge to procure raw materials as well as either a manufacturing faculty or a manufacturing contract.
Gecko’s engineering prowess will help Google expand its hardware ventures, from satellites to Google Glass to its self-driving cars and beyond. With Gecko’s aid, Google could also seemingly explore the world of semiconductor manufacturing.