Google buys a firm that turns screens into speakers

Google buys a firm that turns screens into speakers

Redux was founded in 2013 out of Cambridge, and built technology that uses vibrations to turn surfaces of phones or tablets into speakers or provide haptic feedback.

A spokesperson for Google refused to comment on the price of the acquisition or any further details.

"Redux has developed breakthrough technology which transforms the user experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch", it said in an "about us" section of the company.

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Redux shares were transferred to Google on December 13, according to United Kingdom regulatory filings, though Crunchbase said the deal took place back in August. The sound quality from the vibrating screen was decent, and the haptic feedback made it feel like you were touching, if not physical buttons, then at least something.

This would free up space for other components, such as larger batteries or a better cameras, in Google products such as Pixel phones. On Ivanov's profile page, it says that Redux achieved a "successful exit" in August 2017, but it does not state the buyer. Redux shutdown its website after Google's acquisition.

The startup held 178 patents, according to the company's LinkedIn page, almost all relating to using the surfaces of smartphones, tablets, and other devices into audio amplifiers. 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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It has also emerged that the company quietly purchased a United Kingdom startup called Redux in August.

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

At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas this week, Google is heavily promoting its voice-controlled speakers that compete with Amazon's Echo device.

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