Google quietly acquires British tech startup Redux that turns screens into speakers

Google - based in California - has secretly acquired a tech start-up company based in Cambridge, UK that could turn any surface into a speaker. As expected the Redux website is now down and Google is expected to officially announce the acquisition.

The acquisition is reflected on Crunchbase, and in confirmed transfer of shares within United Kingdom regulatory filings. Redux's technology uses vibrations with displays for a variety of different things, and the most notable use of this is the ability to harness these vibrations to turn displays into functioning speakers. It's not clear when the purchase was made, or for how much the company was bought, but the acquisition happened in August previous year according to Crunchbase. I am not sure but the display-speaker integration may also help Google improve the haptic feedback on their phones.

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. Backed by investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million in March 2017, and concentrated on markets including computing, mobile, automotive and industrial controls.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems.

If Google decides to use Redux's display-speaker technology on its future Pixel phones, the company could achieve a better bezel-less design without removing front-facing speakers.

In the past, the company has demoed its technology on smartphone and tablet displays, and that very well may be Google's core intended use for this exciting technology.

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. This could allow for numerous ways to save space within a compact mobile device.

  • Joe Gonzales