Google could be heading for speaker-less future

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

Google parent Alphabet has quietly acquired a United Kingdom startup focussed on building a technology that can convert any screen into a speaker. According to regulatory filings, the transfer of shares was confirmed in December.

Google has declined to comment on the acquisition, including how much might have been paid for Redux.

The company now has 178 granted patents and more than 50 patents pending.

Ivanov told New Electronics: "We can turn the screen into a high quality loudspeaker, eliminating the need for an embedded speaker". Redux shutdown its website after Google's acquisition.

That being said, Redux focus is not just limited to smartphones and the company has been actively developing varied solutions for computing, automotive and also industrial markets. It's speculative, but it could be that Google plans on heating things up in the continued 2018 bezel race with some in-screen speakers on the next Pixel (s), or maybe it plans on using the company's improved haptics for a Taptic-like experience.

Last year, it received £3.7 million ($5 million) from an array of investors, including Arie Capital.

So far, Redux has only been able to integrate its technologies inside PCs and some infotainment systems for vehicles, but none have made its way to commercially available mobile devices yet.

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.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones both feature dual front-facing speakers, which has been welcomed by many critics and users.

Google quietly acquired a United Kingdom tech startup without anyone noticing - until now that is. This technology has interesting ramifications and possible uses in Google's consumer lineup.

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