Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Google acquires UK-based sound tech startup Redux at an undisclosed amount

Google acquires UK-based sound tech startup Redux at an undisclosed amount

Along with this, Redux can also use these vibrations to create haptic feedback when interacting with a display that tries to mimic the feel of touching buttons and moving sliders/dials.

The acquisition is reflected on Crunchbase, and in confirmed transfer of shares within United Kingdom regulatory filings. "Moreover, our surface audio technology is more power efficient than traditional micro speakers, which means people can play music and watch videos on their phones for longer between charges". The Verge was actually able to try out the startup's technology previous year on a tablet.

Redux isn't the only company looking to transform screens into speakers. These actuators will vibrate the screen allowing it to emit sound like a regular speaker. However, it is believed the deal went through in August. The tech is somewhat similar to 3D Touch, Apple's force-sensitive display feature on iPhones.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. Google has made no mention of the acquisition as of yet.

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As for what Google could do with Redux, the search giant may build smartphones that eschew speakers.

Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology. This also opens up the possibility of placing even more components in future devices, like larger battery. "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". At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas this week, Google is heavily promoting its voice-controlled speakers that compete with Inc.'s Echo device. If Google doesn't put Redux's technology in a smartphone, it's certainly possible that the company could put it on one of its very own Smart Displays.

It remains to be seen what Google's plans are for this technology.

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