Google Buys Bump Info-Sharing App

Bump allows quick file transfers of images and other files by tapping on the spacebar, allowing the files to be sent to and from smartphones to computers.

Google has acquired the company that created the Bump app, which lets users move files from smartphones to computers and vice versa by "bumping" the spacebar with the device to make the transfer.

The acquisition was announced in a Sept. 16 post by David Lieb, the CEO and co-founder
of Bump, on the company's blog. "We're excited to announce that the Bump team is joining Google!" wrote Lieb in the post. "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."

Bump is available for Apple iOS and for Android device users.

Neither Google nor Bump announced a price tag for the transaction, but The New York Times Bits Blog reported an acquisition price of about $40 million, according to its sources.

In a statement provided to eWEEK via email, a Google spokesperson said, "[The] Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love, and we think they'll be a great fit at Google."

Bump provides an app for the user's devices and uses the cloud to move the information, whether images or other files, from one device to the other, according to the company's FAQs. "There are two parts to Bump: the app running on your device and a smart matching algorithm running on our servers in the cloud," the FAQ states. "When you bump your spacebar, the app on your phone uses the phone's sensors to literally 'feel' the bump, and the spacebar acts as the sensor to feel the bump on the computer. The bumps then send the information up to the cloud. The matching algorithm listens to the bumps from phones/computers around the world and pairs up the two that felt the same bump. Then we send the photos from your mobile to your computer."

Images that are transferred are not sent in their original resolution but are reduced to speed up transfers and improve the user experience, according to Bump. The images can be saved on the target devices.

In June, Google made another intriguing mobile app acquisition when it bought Waze, a crowd-based traffic and navigation app for mobile devices. The transaction was rumored in various reports on June 10, but Google unveiled the finished deal on June 11. Waze collects and communicates user-generated reports on traffic and navigation information to help drivers ease their commuting stresses. Google paid about $1.3 billion to acquire the Israel-based Waze to add to Google's growing portfolio of popular and revenue-enhancing mapping tools.

Google's discussions with Waze began after previous talks between Waze and Facebook failed to reach a similar agreement. Those discussions came after yet another rumored deal arose in late 2012 when Apple purportedly was about to purchase Waze. At the time, the rumors called for Apple to acquire Waze to bolster its own mapping services, which had suffered after Apple tried to build a Google Maps replacement for its iOS 6 operating system in September 2012.