Google is closing out the week with a new acquisition being wrapped up. The Mountain View, California-based corporation is buying Gecko Design, a product and industrial design firm based nearby in Silicon Valley. Some of Gecko Design’s previous clients in tech consist of Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Fitbit, Logitech, and Slingmedia. A few of the more familiar items in the Gecko portfolio include Fitbit’s clip-on calorie counter and the $100 “One Laptop Per Child” model. The Gecko Design team confirmed the merger in a short announcement on its website on Friday.
Google Inc. said Friday that it acquired mechanical engineering and product-design company Gecko Design Inc. as the Internet-search giant increasingly works on hardware products, rather than just software. No price was disclosed. Jacques Gagné, president of Gecko Design, will join Google X, the company’s research lab, along with Gecko’s four other employees. Gecko, based in Los Gatos, Calif., and founded in 1996, specializes in developing consumer-electronic products, working with engineers early in the process before manufacturing begins. Gecko’s clients have included FitBit Inc., Logitech InternationalS.A. , Sonos Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., according to the company’s website. Google X needs design expertise as it works to shape cutting-edge technology into consumer and commercial products. Examples include Google Glass, the connected eyewear; Iris, the smart contact lens; and Loon, the high altitude balloons that provide Internet access to remote locations. “We’re a piece that Google X doesn’t necessarily have,” Mr. Gagné said. “People come to Gecko because they don’t know how to turn ideas into real products, especially when it’s something that hasn’t been done before. That’s what attracted Google X.”