What they do: Zync provides cloud-based rendering tools for visual effects companies. Zync used to run on an Amazon Web Services public cloud, making the acquisition a bit of a blow to Amazon. It initially started as a Boston-based startup.
When it was acquired: August 26, 2014.
What it integrates with: Google Cloud platform.
- TITAN AEROSPACE
What they do: Titan Aerospace develops drones that are intended to fly nonstop for years. For example, the Titan Aerospace Solara 50 has a wingspan of 150 feet and is equipped with 3,000 solar cells, which can provide 7 kW of electricity to stay airborne for five years.
Google has not talked publicly about how much they bought the drone maker for, but Facebook was initially interested in offering $60 million for the company.
When it was acquired: April 14, 2014
What it integrates with: Titan assists Google with a variety of projects, from collecting aerial photos of the planet to beaming internet to parts of the world that aren’t connected as part of Google’s Project Loon.
- TILT BRUSH
What they do: Tilt Brush allows you to paint in 3D. You can stick with basic brush strokes or add smoke or light to your images. You can choose from a variety of brush types, from dry ink strokes to strokes that look like leaves. There’s even an option to use brushes that animate what you draw. Users can then make an AutoGif to share what they created.
When it was acquired: April 16, 2015
What it integrates with: Tilt Brush integrates with Google Cardboard, which lets you experience virtual reality, so that you can experience the 3D images created using Tilt Brush.
What they do: THRIVE is a company that was born out of Trinity College Dublin’s engineering department that creates headphones that let you experience 3D audio. It’s hard to conceptualize 3D audio, but essentially it reacts to a listener’s movements in virtual scenario, accounting for height, depth, and distance.
When it was acquired: April 16, 2015 (same day as Tilt Brush)
What it integrates with: Like Tilt Brush, THRIVE integrates with Google Cardboard so that you can experience surround sound in virtual reality.
What they do: The company is primarily known for its smart thermostat that can be controlled by your phone from anywhere. Nest will learn a user’s behavior to adjust and save money. The company also creates a smart fire detector and a smart home security camera.
When it was acquired: Google acquired Nest January 13, 2014 for $3.2 billion.
What they integrate with: Nest will operate as a separate business under Alphabet.
- BOSTON DYNAMICS
What they do: Boston Dynamics works with DARPA and the US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to build extraordinarily advanced robots. The latest one is named Spot (pictured above) — a four-legged robot dog that can help scout for danger for a Marine rifle squad.
When it was acquired: December 10, 2013, the same month Google acquired several other robotics companies.
What they integrate with: Google X, the fairly secretive “moonshot” lab that creates self-driving cars and glucose-sensing contact lenses. Google X will operate under Alphabet.
- BOT & DOLLY
What they do: Bot & Dolly is a design and engineering studio that creates the software and hardware that controls industrial robots. They combine their massive robotic arms with custom software for movies and other entertainment installations.
To create the effect of weightlessness in Gravity, Bot & Dolly used a seven-axis, motion-controlled robot dubbed Iris. The 3,000-pound robots were shipped on a cargo plane to London, where they moved around actress Sandra Bullock in a way that matched computer-generated sequences of a spacecraft interior or of a spacesuit hurtling toward earth, Bloomberg reported.
The computer-generated sequences were made by Bot & Dolly and visual effects company Framestore.
When it was acquired: December 7, 2013. It was acquired alongside Bot & Dolly’s design firm Autofuss.
What they integrate with: Google X
What they do: With the Google purchase of SCHAFT, a private company born out of Tokyo that created a robot that won the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2013, they have cemented their future in robotitcs. SCHAFT created the 209-pound bipedal robot is capable of driving, traversing over rough terrain, and climbing a ladder.
When it was acquired: December 2, 2013.
Who they integrate with: Google X