Google buys product design firm Gecko

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. Gecko Design specializes in working with engineers on designs early in the creation of new products. The move bolsters Google X, the research lab devoted to technology-advancing projects such as Google Glass; self-driving cars; Iris, the smart contact lens; and Loon, the high altitude balloons that provide Internet access to remote locations. Google X needs design expertise as it works to shape cutting-edge technology into consumer and commercial products.

This is an incredible opportunity for everyone at Gecko. We are very excited and honored to join Google X and work on a variety of cutting edge products.

Statement from Jacques Gagne, Gecko Design President

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Gecko was founded about eight years ago and is based in Northern California not far from Google headquarters. Gecko worked on the One Laptop per Child project, helping design the cheap computer for kids in developing countries.