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

Posted January 12, 2018

Sometime a year ago, Google quietly acquired a United Kingdom startup doing rather interesting work with sound, including a new type of speaker and haptic feedback.

It reported that Redux is able to turn screens into a speakers by vibrating the screen itself using small actuators.

A spokesperson for Google refused to comment on the price of the acquisition or any further details.

The space saved by opting for such a technology will go a long way in helping manufacturers add other extra features like an FM chip or an NFC chip.

The startup held 178 patents, according to the company's LinkedIn page, almost all relating to using the surfaces of smartphones, tablets, and other devices into audio amplifiers.

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.

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The acquisition date isn't known, but shares of Redux's holding company were confirmed transferred to Google on December 13.

"Redux has developed breakthrough technology which transforms the user experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch", it said in an "about us" section of the company. The same controlled vibrations could also be used to deliver haptic feedback through the display.

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.

Google quietly acquired a United Kingdom tech startup without anyone noticing - until now that is.

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.

Redux has demoed its technology on smartphone and tablet displays, in the past, and that very well may be Google Inc (GOOG)'s core intended use for this exciting technology.