Google Acquires UK Startup That Turns Objects Into Speakers

Posted January 12, 2018

Google appears to have acquired Redux, a UK-based audio startup with innovative in-screen speaker technology, according to a report from Bloomberg. According to regulatory filings, the transfer of shares was confirmed in December. As expected the Redux website is now down and Google is expected to officially announce the acquisition.

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.

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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. This kind of imitates the sensation that makes it feel like users are actually pushing buttons or adjusting sliders on a device's display. No word on how much it paid, but the $5 million Redux raised in March suggests it could be around that figure. This also opens up the possibility of placing even more components in future devices, like larger battery.

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. Redux is the developer of an innovative technology that allows surfaces, such as smartphone displays and PC monitors, to act as speakers.

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Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology.

Of course, Apple isn't the only gadget maker constantly in search of new ways to free up space inside its smartphones and other products.

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It is unclear what work the Redux team will do for Google, or already has been doing, but it's possible that they could be working to use the technology to improve the sound quality of Google's own smartphones.