Google Acquires Company With Tech That Turns Displays Into Speakers

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Google has declined to comment on the acquisition, including how much might have been paid for Redux. The startup is developing technology, and it will be able to turn certain surfaces into speakers. Should Google use this tech to remove the need for speakers in its future smartphones, it would free up space for other components and perhaps larger batteries, while doing away with bezels altogether. The buyout took place quietly in August 2017 and was only confirmed by the transfer of shares from Redux's holding company, NVF Tech Ltd., to Google on December 13th.

Redux technology could put more weapons in Google's smartphone arsenal as it continues to compete with Apple and other smartphone makers.

According to its page the company 'developed breakthrough technology which transforms the user experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch'. The sound quality is said to be "decent". Backed by investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million in March 2017, and concentrated on markets including computing, mobile, automotive and industrial controls. It also creates solutions to create so-called haptic feedback, which allows users to carry out different tasks on current smartphones by applying different pressure to the screen.

Though Redux's website has been shut down, you can check out a web archive of the site where the company explains its technology and mentions that it has 177 total patents, with 115 of them granted.

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Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. Redux imagined many potential uses for its products, but the first application listed-and by far, the most interesting-is for mobile devices like phones.

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