Google has paid an undisclosed sum to acquire Polar, a startup with technology used to poll mobile device users for their opinion on a variety of subjects. The deal gives a boost to its social network Google+ and streaming video services.
Along with the technology, the agreement brings to Google a handful of employees, and founder and mobile expert Luke Wroblewski. “I’m thrilled to welcome Luke Wroblewski and the talented Polar team to Google," Dave Besbris, Google's VP of engineering for Google+, wrote in a post. "They’ll be working with our designers and engineers to help us make G+ as beautiful and simple to use as possible, especially on mobile devices."
Wroblewski, a former Yahoo VP, also co-founder BagCheck, which Twitter acquired in 2011, joins Google along with Jeff Cole, CTO and co-founder of Patients Like Me, an online community for patients to share insight on treatment.
No doubt Polar's technology will support comparable services to Microsoft's Bing Pulse real-time audience survey tool for live events. One recent event -- the Clinton Global Initiative America conference -- used the tool to gauge audience sentiment from those watching online and in person during two sessions on topics of American competitiveness, and energy and national resources.
The Polar app will remain available through the end of the year and then focus on Google+ projects. "We're keeping our publisher tools available until the end of 2014," the company said in a statement on its Web site.
Polar has conducted polls for several media companies including HBO, TechCrunch and USA Today.