Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Google Acquires Redux, a Startup That Integrates Speakers into Smartphone Displays

Alphabet Inc.’s Google division started selling its own smartphones in 2016 so new engineering talent from Redux may help the company develop handsets with better sound Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google
Pete Mitchell | 12 January, 2018, 03:31

Google has acquired United Kingdom technology start-up Redux, which specialises in turning surfaces such as phone displays into speakers, Bloomberg reports.

According to regulatory filings, the transaction, as a part of which Google's United Kingdom subsidiary bought all the shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech Ltd., was completed in December previous year.

"Our technology enables smartphone manufacturers to reclaim valuable space within phones, which could be filled by a bigger battery", Redux Chief Executive Nedko Ivanov said at the time. Google declined to comment on the price and details of the deal. Redux's website is now blank, and its official Twitter account has not posted an update in almost nine months. However, it is believed the deal went through in August.

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.

It also has technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays, which provides vibrations to imitate what it feels like to push physical buttons.

It reported that Redux is able to turn screens into a speakers by vibrating the screen itself using small actuators. The sound quality is said to be "decent".

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The company now has 178 granted patents and more than 50 patents pending.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones both feature dual front-facing speakers, which has been welcomed by many critics and users.

At CES 2018, Google mainly focused on promoting its smart speakers and its new line of Smart Display devices, its direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show.

According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point a year ago.

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