Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

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

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google Google Acquires Redux, a Startup That Integrates Speakers into Smartphone Displays
Doris Mccormick | 11 January, 2018, 21:41

Redux's technology uses vibrations with displays for a variety of different things, and the most notable use of this is the ability to harness these vibrations to turn displays into functioning speakers. The Essential Phone arguably pushed the limits even more, with a small cut-out in its display housing the camera.

According to Bloomberg, the worldwide tech firm quietly acquired the Cambridge-based startup, whose proprietary technology creates surfaces which transform phone displays into speakers.

Bloomberg noted that it's unclear exactly when Google acquired Redux, but United Kingdom regulatory filings state that the transfer of shares to Google from Redux's holding company took place previous year on December 13th. As expected the Redux website is now down and Google is expected to officially announce the acquisition. It raised $5 million in March 2017 year from investors, and while the search giant hasn't offered a statement regarding the purchase, it isn't hard to guess at what Google might have in mind. It's also unclear whether Redux's technology is actually intended for Google's consumer hardware division.

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"We can turn the screen into a high quality loudspeaker, eliminating the need for an embedded speaker", Redux's Nedko Ivanov told New Electronics in an interview back in 2016. The Pixel 2 in particular had very thick bezels that's very much the same size as its predecessor.

This would free up space for other components, such as larger batteries or a better cameras, in Google products such as Pixel phones.

Redux's technology has other possibilities, though. 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. They clicked and buzzed in a way no other phone screens now do.

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