Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At Annual CES In Las Vegas

While no one was paying attention at the end of 2017, Google swooped in and purchased a company in the United Kingdom called Redux that has a couple of pretty unique ideas around display panels.

The US tech giant snapped up Cambridge firm Redux which can turn screens into speakers using haptic feedback.

On Wednesday night, a report revealed on Bloomberg quietly that Google acquisition of "Redux" could have major implications down the road.

Founded in 2013, Redux Labs developed a technology that eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones, freeing up space for batteries or other components. The same controlled vibrations could also be used to deliver haptic feedback through the display.

Redux's site has been taken down since the acquisition, but thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, we can see some of the details behind the startup.

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It's not yet known when Alphabet - through an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google - bought the startup, but United Kingdom regulatory filings show that the transfer of shares was completed in mid-December. The sound quality is said to be "decent".

Apple's Taptic Engine has not been recreated in a mainstream Android phone so far, but this technology could be Google's key to doing exactly this. The actual deal was reportedly made in August 2017. For instance, the iPhone X and a couple of other bezel-less smartphones like the Mi Mix have strategically relocated hardware like the mic and the earpiece in order to accommodate the larger display.

Google has acquired a United Kingdom startup that can turn mobile device displays into speakers.

The startup held 178 patents, according to the company's LinkedIn page, almost all relating to using the surfaces of smartphones, tablets, and other devices into audio amplifiers.

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.

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