Google Acquires Company With Tech That Turns Displays Into Speakers

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

Google Acquires Redux, a Startup That Integrates Speakers into Smartphone Displays

The acquisition could prove useful to Google, and could change the way it designed its future Pixel smartphones. One obvious benefit there is the fact that this would allow manufacturers to remove speaker modules and free up space for other components, like bigger batteries. The Verge was actually able to try out the startup's technology previous year on a tablet. "When it comes to mobile phones, we are not only saving valuable real estate and creating a waterproof housing, we are eliminating the need for additional speaker holes and most importantly, improving the audio quality".

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. For Panel Audio, they are using special actuators that "deliver naturalistic wide-frequency-range audio from a panel or display (without micro-speakers and apertures) - providing a versatile and robust overall solution".

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. However, both smartphones needed to have some bezels to make that possible.

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It remains to be seen what Google's plans are for this technology.

Like other major technology companies, Google acquires small startups all the time.

Redux's website is now dead.

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

Redux specialised in transforming any surface into a speaker and Google purchased the company late a year ago.

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.

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