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

12 January, 2018, 00:13 | Author: Delbert Rhodes
  • Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

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

Bloomberg said a Google spokesperson declined to comment, but it's thought Alphabet could use Redux's engineering capacity to improve the quality of sound on its handsets.

It remains unclear when Alphabet bought the sound specialist, but the tech-giant confirmed that it obtained the shares on December 13.

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

Chief executive Nedko Ivanov, who left in August according to his LinkedIn profile, said in 2016 that the company hoped to break even by 2018. Based on the publicly available funding data, Redux Labs raised a total of $5 million to date. The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech a year ago, trying out a tablet which vibrated its screen to function as a speaker, as well as a number of displays that used haptic feedback to mimic the feel of buttons, sliders, and dials.

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

This would free up space for other components, such as larger batteries or a better cameras, in Google products such as Pixel phones. For Panel Audio, they are using special actuators that "deliver naturalistic wide-frequency-range audio from a panel or display (without micro-speakers and apertures) - providing a versatile and robust overall solution".

Redux specialised in transforming any surface into a speaker and Google purchased the company late previous year.

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. This could allow for numerous ways to save space within a compact mobile device.

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