Google buys a firm that turns screens into speakers

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

According to a report from Bloomberg, Google made another purchase about a month before this for UK-based company Redux. According to regulatory filings, the transfer of shares was confirmed in December.

The system by Cambridge-based Redux could eliminate the need for small speakers to be used in mobile phones. 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.

Redux isn't the only company looking to transform screens into speakers. However, it is believed the deal went through in August. Apple recently adopted an advanced Taptic Engine in its iPhones and other devices that offers enhanced feedback, and Google may be planning to use Redux tech in a similar fashion.

Redux was founded in 2013 and is focused on turning mobile screens into speakers using vibration. With Google's acquisition, that may change soon. However, both smartphones needed to have some bezels to make that possible. Needless to say, the tech that helps integrate smartphone speakers within the display will be invaluable for Google or any other smartphone manufacturers. This also opens up the possibility of placing even more components in future devices, like larger battery. At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas this week, Google is heavily promoting its voice-controlled speakers that compete with Amazon.com Inc.'s Echo device.

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. Their technology has been created for mobile and consumer devices, home appliances, automotive and aerospace applications but can be tailored to nearly any bespoke application.

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