Near Field Communication has many use cases, for example transferring files or processing payments, but the technology has so far failed to gain traction as there are doubts regarding its security. Even Apple, which loves to experiment with new technologies, isn’t convinced that bump-to-transfer is something its devices should have.
Still, the allure of bumping devices to share information is intriguing, thus Bump Technologies’ Bump app has managed to gain popularity by allowing iOS to experience the bump-to-share functionality of NFC without Apple’s say so, even if their device doesn’t have an NFC chip. Using Bump, users can share info with others via a range of platforms and devices, as long the two both have Bump app installed.
But when iOS 7 rolls out tomorrow, iPhone users will no longer need Bump to transfer files quickly as they will be able to do that using AirDrop, a new feature that uses WiFi or Bluetooth to share files with other iPhone users near them. Is this the reason why Bump sold out to Google?
Bump has announced on its blog page that it’s been acquired by Google and its team of employees will now be joining the search giant. The Bump app, as well as Flock, the geolocation app that aggregates photos of you and your friends based on the location, will continue to be available and downloadable, and the team promised that nothing much will change – meaning that Bump will continue to function as it is, and that users can expect future updates for the app.
“Our mission at Bump has always been to build the simplest tools for sharing the information you care about with other people and devices. We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing, and algorithms. So we couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world,” wrote David Lieb, CEO and cofounder of Bump.
The acquisition was quickly viewed as a talent buy, not for Bump’s technology but for Flock. It seems Google is very interested in tracking people based on the photos they took, even if that photo wasn’t shared on any social media platform.
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but people familiar with the matter stated that the deal was valued somewhere in the $35 million range. Also, speculations of it being an acqua-hire were dismissed by those familiar with the deal.
There’s a huge chance that Flock will be integrated to Google+ in the future, while Bump could still be a useful feature for Google Drive. For now, users will be delighted to know that the apps won’t be going away as Google has no plans of killing those apps – at least, not yet anyway.