Google acquired a United Kingdom startup that turns mobile screens into speakers

12 January, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

Redux was founded in 2013 out of Cambridge, and built technology that uses vibrations to turn surfaces of phones or tablets into speakers or provide haptic feedback.

The filing did not list the price paid for the shares, but showed that all the stock held by investors and employees was transferred to Google in early September. In addition to producing the same type of sound you would expect to hear from your phone's speakers, the Redux technology also produces haptic feedback when the user taps on the display. The transfer of shares of Redux's holding company NVF Tech was confirmed by United Kingdom regulatory filings on 13 December, but Crunchbase says the deal happened in August. Being able to do away with, or at least shrink, that physical component could be another significant advantage to smartphones with Redux technology onboard.

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While no one was paying attention at the end of 2017, Google swooped in and purchased a company in the United Kingdom called Redux that has a couple of pretty unique ideas around display panels.

When Apple Inc. (AAPL) ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone, and it said the reason was "courage"? that wasn't the reason, the actual reason was simple: in the ongoing fight to make thinner smartphones that pack in more and more tech, space is at a premium. By vibrating the screen using tiny actuators, sound is created from the display.

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Google has been aggressive this year with its touchscreen products, predominantly the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. It could also improve waterproofing for future phones since it eliminates the need for speaker holes. Google has made no mention of the acquisition as of yet.

Redux specialised in transforming any surface into a speaker and Google purchased the company late previous year.

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