Google acquires United Kingdom technology start-up Redux

Google acquires United Kingdom technology start-up Redux

Google acquires United Kingdom technology start-up Redux

Google appears to have acquired Redux, a UK-based audio startup with innovative in-screen speaker technology, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Redux was founded in 2013 and is focused on turning mobile screens into speakers using vibration.

With the acquisition, Google now has an extra 178 patents under its belt, which it can use to enhance its future smartphone and other devices - perhaps even future Google Home hardware. The transfer of shares was confirmed on December 13 based on United Kingdom regulatory filings.

According to its page the company 'developed breakthrough technology which transforms the user experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch'. Backed by investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million in March 2017, and concentrated on markets including computing, mobile, automotive and industrial controls. Stereo sound coming directly from the screens could make the phone look and sound slicker, and customers nostalgic for buttons and physical keyboards will spring for the improved haptic feedback.

So far, Redux has only been able to use its technologies inside PCs and some auto infotainment systems - but that could be about to change. Just recently Wired wrote about how companies might use audio to transfer data, which may be part of Google's plan for Redux.

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Component space is indeed at a premium now in smartphones, which is why both Google and Apple Inc. made the controversial decision to ditch the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack in the newer Pixel and iPhone models.

According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point a year ago.

This appears to be the latest in a string of takeovers from the tech conglomerate.

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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