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Google buys United Kingdom start-up Redux
12 January 2018, 12:29 | Francis Delgado
Google Acquires Redux, a Startup That Integrates Speakers into Smartphone Displays
Alphabet Inc.'s Google has quietly acquired a United Kingdom startup focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers. So not only can the company's tech turn a flat surface like the screen of a phone into a pair of speakers, but it can also be used to provide focused haptic feedback-for instance, to make certain parts of the screen "feel" different. 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.
Google has yet to comment on a purchase price, or any other aspect of the acquisition.
Promotion via the social media accounts of the company ended in April 2017 and in July Google employees were made directors, says City AM.
Ivanov told New Electronics: "We can turn the screen into a high quality loudspeaker, eliminating the need for an embedded speaker".
Redux said that Panel Audio removes the need for physical buttons, speaker grills and other gaps, enabling the creation of fully sealed phones that would be completely waterproof. In August, Google acquired the company for an undisclosed amount.
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Redux developed a number of technologies involving sound and touch in mobile devices, but never placed them in any major consumer products. It also creates solutions to create so-called haptic feedback, which allows users to carry out different tasks on current smartphones by applying different pressure to the screen.
So far, Redux has only been able to use its technologies inside PCs and some vehicle infotainment systems - but that could be about to change. 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.
Apple's Taptic Engine has not been recreated in a mainstream Android phone so far, but this technology could be Google's key to doing exactly this.
According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point previous year.
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