Science

Google secretly acquired a United Kingdom startup that could make smartphone speakers obsolete

Google secretly acquired a United Kingdom startup that could make smartphone speakers obsoleteā€

Alphabet, 's parent company, has secretly acquired a United Kingdom start-up that specialises in technology to turn smartphone screens into speakers.

Redux had no products on the market but created a technology that can turn displays into a vibration media.

According to Crunchbase, the deal happened in August, although Google has still not commented on the acquisition. As per the company's LinkedIn page, Redux has 50 pending patent and has been granted 178 patents. According to regulator filings, the shares of Redux' holding company were transferred to Alphabet in early December previous year. Google might also use the acquisition to improve its future handsets' haptic feedback.

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Alphabet has acquired Redux via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google.

Redux is also developing technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays. 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.

Redux developed technology that eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones, freeing up space for batteries or other components, the Cambridge, U.K. -based startup said on its now defunct website.

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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 purchased a United Kingdom firm called Redux sometime a year ago. 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".

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.

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