Google makes little noise buying United Kingdom sound tech startup Redux

Google has bought a company that turns any surface into a speaker

Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. reportedly has acquired Redux ST, a small United Kingdom -based startup that has developed haptics technology that turns smart device screens into sound speakers. According to regulator filings, the shares of Redux' holding company were transferred to Alphabet in early December a year ago.

The technology, developed by Redux, eliminates the necessity of small speakers in mobile devices.

Google did not provide Bloomberg with any details, including purchasing price or other acquisition information.

Details of the deal remain undisclosed, but it's worth noting that Redux closed a $5m round in March previous year from investors including Arie Capital. "Moreover, our surface audio technology is more power efficient than traditional micro speakers, which means people can play music and watch videos on their phones for longer between charges". 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.

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According to, Redux Labs was founded in 2013 and had 11 - 50 employees. Redux has demoed the tech with a custom-built PC monitor. However, both smartphones needed to have some bezels to make that possible. Just recently Wired wrote about how companies might use audio to transfer data, which may be part of Google's plan for Redux.

This would free up space for other components, such as larger batteries or a better cameras, in Google products such as Pixel phones.

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.

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.

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