Google acquires United Kingdom startup with speaker-less audio & sound-based haptics tech
00:10, Jan 12, 2018
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United Kingdom tech startup Redux has been acquired by technology giant Google. Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Google has quietly acquired a United Kingdom startup which aims to turn surfaces, such as phone displays, into speakers.
Crunchbase, on the other hand, lists the transaction as having taking place last Summer. It raised $5 million in March 2017 year from investors, and while the search giant hasn't offered a statement regarding the purchase, it isn't hard to guess at what Google might have in mind.
Google has declined to comment on the acquisition, including how much might have been paid for Redux. This also opens up the possibility of placing even more components in future devices, like larger battery. Redux's technology uses vibrations with displays for a variety of different things, and the most notable use of this is the ability to harness these vibrations to turn displays into functioning speakers. The acquisition could prove useful to Google, and could change the way it designed its future Pixel smartphones.
According to filings, Google took control of the startup back in August and then subsequently shut down the company's website.
Although Redux has already integrated similar technology inside PCs and automotive infotainment systems, it has recently focused on bringing the same technology to mobile devices. For Panel Audio, they are using special actuators that "deliver naturalistic wide-frequency-range audio from a panel or display (without micro-speakers and apertures) - providing a versatile and robust overall solution". This could allow for numerous ways to save space within a compact mobile device. Its main Google division started selling its own smartphones in 2016, so new engineering talent from Redux may help the company develop handsets with better sound.
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