Google appears to have acquired Redux, a UK-based audio startup with innovative in-screen speaker technology, according to a report from Bloomberg. The transfer of shares was confirmed on December 13 based on United Kingdom regulatory filings.
Google has declined to comment on the acquisition, including how much might have been paid for Redux.
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Redux's website is now dead.
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. But in the recent years, Google and other Alphabet subsidiaries have started focussing quite a lot on hardware products including Pixel smartphones, which seems like a good place to use the tech. "Moreover, our surface audio technology is more power efficient than traditional micro speakers, which means people can play music and watch videos on their phones for longer between charges".
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It also has technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays, which provides vibrations to imitate what it feels like to push physical buttons. The sound quality is said to be "decent". "With 178 granted patents, over 50 pending patent applications, and global engagement with leaders in multiple vertical markets, our vision is to bring the next generation of user experience to every consumer".
So far, Redux has only been able to integrate its technologies inside PCs and some infotainment systems for vehicles, but none have made its way to commercially available mobile devices yet. What we do care about is this tech that we could see used on some level in future Pixel phones or other touchscreen devices from Google.
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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.