Sci-tech

Google quietly purchased a United Kingdom sound tech startup

Google quietly purchased a United Kingdom sound tech startup

Google Inc (GOOG) is now the proud owner of Cambridge-based startup Redux. Redux shutdown its website after Google's acquisition.

The startup called Redux developed the technology called Panel Audio that allowed the panels or screens to produce audio without needing any speakers. According to regulatory filings, the transfer of shares was confirmed in December. The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech past year, trying out a tablet which vibrated its screen to function as a speaker, as well as a number of displays that used haptic feedback to mimic the feel of buttons, sliders, and dials.

This would free up space for other components, such as larger batteries or a better cameras, in Google products such as Pixel phones. This kind of imitates the sensation that makes it feel like users are actually pushing buttons or adjusting sliders on a device's display. Redux had managed to raise a total of $5 Million prior to the acquisition but the company has not revealed how much it paid to acquire the startup. The same controlled vibrations could also be used to deliver haptic feedback through the display.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. Needless to say, the tech that helps integrate smartphone speakers within the display will be invaluable for Google or any other smartphone manufacturers.

According to Redux's LinkedIn page, Google Inc (GOOG) could also improve its smartphones' haptic feedback, though the company could also license out Redux's technology and gain some revenue, the company has 178 granted patents and over 50 pending patent applications.

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.