Google acquires UK-based startup Redux which turns screens into speakers

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 12 Jan 2018
Google acquires UK-based startup Redux which turns screens into speakers
HIGHLIGHTS

Redux used actuators to vibrate a device’s display to produce sound and provide haptic feedback, thus freeing up space for installing a larger battery or some other hardware (3.5mm jack?) on the device.

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Google has acquired Redux, a startup from UK, which used actuators to deliver audio and tactile feedback via a device’s display. As per a Bloomberg report, the Mountain-view based company didn’t reveal how much it paid for the acquisition or when it actually acquired it, however, Crunchbase says that the acquisition happened in August last year.

Redux Labs created products and devices which featured haptic feedback and speakerless surround sound audio built into the display. The technology is said to be based on patented bending wave techniques, which can control “sub-sonic and sonic waves” across a flat or curved surface. This essentially eliminates the requirement of installing separate speakers in a smartphone or tablet and frees up space, which can then be utilized for a bigger battery or any other component.

“We can turn the screen into a high-quality loudspeaker, eliminating the need for an embedded speaker,” Nedko Ivanov, CEO of Redux, told New Electronics back in 2016. “When it comes to mobile phones, we are not only saving valuable real estate and creating a waterproof housing, we are eliminating the need for additional speaker holes and most importantly, improving the audio quality.”

Apart from Redux, Google acquired many other startups and businesses last year. Most notable of which was of HTC’s Pixel team for $1.1 billion. Under the agreement, Google received a non-exclusive license for HTC’s Intellectual Property rights and certain HTC employees who were already working on Google’s Pixel smartphones joined the company. After Redux’s acquisition, one can expect Google’s upcoming devices to come equipped with haptic sound technology.

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