Google acquires United Kingdom startup with speaker-less audio & sound-based haptics tech

Google has bought a company that turns any surface into a speaker

Speaker as you find

Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Google has quietly acquired a United Kingdom startup which aims to turn surfaces, such as phone displays, into speakers. According to regulator filings, the shares of Redux' holding company were transferred to Alphabet in early December a year ago. Turning screens into speakers would help free up space inside smartphones for other components like bigger batteries.

A spokesperson for Google refused to comment on the price of the acquisition or any further details. Google has made no mention of the acquisition as of yet. On Ivanov's profile page, it says that Redux achieved a "successful exit" in August 2017, but it does not state the buyer. Just recently Wired wrote about how companies might use audio to transfer data, which may be part of Google's plan for Redux. Redux has technology that can turn your phone's display into a speaker and also offer a better haptic feedback experience.

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At the time, it said the sound quality was 'decent'. The company owns 178 patents with another 50 pending. The same controlled vibrations could also be used to deliver haptic feedback through the display.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. This technology has interesting ramifications and possible uses in Google's consumer lineup.

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Sometime a year ago, Google quietly acquired a United Kingdom startup doing rather interesting work with sound, including a new type of speaker and haptic feedback.

One of the more recent purchases by Alphabet was obtaining HTC in 2017, for over $1 billion ($750 million). The feature would eliminate the need for separate speakers but still let users play audio, potentially creating opportunities for Google to develop new smartphone design concepts.

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