Google acquires United Kingdom technology start-up Redux

Alphabet Inc.’s Google division started selling its own smartphones in 2016 so new engineering talent from Redux may help the company develop handsets with better sound

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

The acquisition could prove useful to Google, and could change the way it designed its future Pixel smartphones. No financial details of the acquisition are presently known, though the deal may have ended up being worth north of $10 million, with Redux raising half of that sum in capital funding last March alone. According to regulatory filings, the transfer of shares was confirmed in December. The Verge was actually able to try out the startup's technology past year on a tablet. Being able to do away with, or at least shrink, that physical component could be another significant advantage to smartphones with Redux technology onboard. The sound quality is said to be "decent". So they are turning displays into speakers, which is pretty damn cool. Mashable was able to show off a demonstration of the tech in action during MWC 2017.

"Our technology enables smartphone manufacturers to reclaim valuable space within phones, which could be filled by a bigger battery", Redux Chief Executive Nedko Ivanov said at the time. And displays with tactile feedback could offer a unique selling point for the company's devices - similar to Apple's pressure-sensitive "3D touch" iPhone screens. Redux has demoed the tech with a custom-built PC monitor.

As for what Google could do with Redux, the search giant may build smartphones that eschew speakers. The current Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were criticized by some quarters for not trimming their bezels quite as aggressively as other devices on the market did.

Alphabet Inc is the parent company of Google and owns numerous companies, and continues to acquire even more. While the external space a speaker demands is one thing, it also occupies room inside the phone.

Google has made a concerted effort at CES to promote new features in its series of voice-controlled speakers.

The last public communication from Redux was in April 2017, when it unveiled its Panel Audio technology, which uses haptic vibrations and "bending wave" sounds to turn smartphone and tablet screens into high-quality speakers.

United Kingdom tech startup Redux has been acquired by technology giant Google.

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