Google could be heading for speaker-less future

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

Google Acquires Redux, a Startup That Integrates Speakers into Smartphone Displays

Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. reportedly has acquired Redux ST, a small United Kingdom -based startup that has developed haptics technology that turns smart device screens into sound speakers.

Google has reportedly taken over Redux, a United Kingdom based sound tech startup.

Google did not provide Bloomberg with any details, including purchasing price or other acquisition information.

The last public communication from Redux was in April 2017, when it unveiled its Panel Audio technology, which uses haptic vibrations and "bending wave" sounds to turn smartphone and tablet screens into high-quality speakers.

It is unclear when Alphabet - via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google - acquired Redux, but the transfer of shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech the US tech giant was confirmed on December 13, according to United Kingdom regulatory filings. However, it is believed the deal went through in August. The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech previous year, trying out a tablet which vibrated its screen to function as a speaker, as well as a number of displays that used haptic feedback to mimic the feel of buttons, sliders, and dials. This also opens up the possibility of placing even more components in future devices, like larger battery.

The company now has 178 granted patents and more than 50 patents pending.

Redux raised $5m in March 2017 from investors including Arie Capital. I am not sure but the display-speaker integration may also help Google improve the haptic feedback on their phones.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems.

Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology.

Right ahead of the Pixel 2's unveiling last fall, it was announced that Google purchased a heap of smartphone engineers from HTC to spearhead smartphone projects for the coming years.

At CES 2018, Google mainly focused on promoting its smart speakers and its new line of Smart Display devices, its direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show.

Latest News