Monday, 22 January, 2018

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

Google acquires UK startup with speaker-less audio & sound-based haptics tech Google secretly acquires Redux, a Cambridge startup that has technology to turn smartphone screens into SPEAKERS
Theresa Hayes | 11 January, 2018, 21:41

According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point past year. So they are turning displays into speakers, which is pretty damn cool. "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". Mashable was able to show off a demonstration of the tech in action during MWC 2017. And displays with tactile feedback could offer a unique selling point for the company's devices - similar to Apple's pressure-sensitive "3D touch" iPhone screens.

So far, Redux has only been able to integrate its technologies inside PCs and some infotainment systems for vehicles, but none have made its way to commercially available mobile devices yet. Needless to say, the tech that helps integrate smartphone speakers within the display will be invaluable for Google or any other smartphone manufacturers. However, both smartphones needed to have some bezels to make that possible. It's also unclear whether Redux's technology is actually intended for Google's consumer hardware division.

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. The notion that Google could do away with dedicated speakers in future Pixel phones sounds like an even more appealing option, however.

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

Some lucky tech developer in Cambridge has achieved the cashing-out dream, with no less a cash bag than Google agreeing to buy the mad-sounding speaker technology created by Redux.