The three year old San Francisco startup Flutter has just been acquired by Google. There are no details about the transaction (TechCrunch is hearing it’s the neighborhood of $40 million), and no one really knows how big Flutter actually is in terms of headcount. What does Flutter even do? They use your laptop’s front facing camera to let you control a user interface by waving your hands around like a madman.
Could this technology be the next big input method? Remember, Android began as a BlackBerry competitor, and the first devices had massive QWERTY keyboards and tiny screens. Then the iPhone came out and that obviously changed things, so Google adapted. When Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4, they went on and on about the things you could do just by waving your hand in front of the phone’s front facing camera, and everyone pretty much universally panned those features as nothing but gimmicks. Does Google think otherwise?
And hey, who’s to say that this stuff won’t be integrated into things like Glass, Chrome OS, and maybe even an unannounced Google product line. I’m just having a hard time trying to figure out, in the day of touch screens and voice control, what benefits, if any, does flailing your arms bring?