Google quietly purchased a United Kingdom sound tech startup

12 January, 2018, 03:34 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • 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

Redux's breakthrough technology transforms the User Experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch. The purchase price paid by Google is unknown.

Alphabet has acquired Redux via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google.

According to regulatory filings, the transaction, as a part of which Google's United Kingdom subsidiary bought all the shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech Ltd., was completed in December previous year. "Moreover, our surface audio technology is more power efficient than traditional micro speakers, which means people can play music and watch videos on their phones for longer between charges". With this technology in place, manufacturers can produce phones without a speaker, and use the extra internal space for larger batteries and extra components. Redux is able to turn screens into a speakers by vibrating the screen itself.

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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. The sound quality is said to be "decent". Different effects can be delivered simultaneously to different fingers, using actuators to create bending waves rather than bulk movement.

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.

It remains to be seen what Google's plans are for this technology. It could also improve waterproofing for future phones since it eliminates the need for speaker holes.

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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. As expected the Redux website is now down and Google is expected to officially announce the acquisition.

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) acquired a United Kingdom speaker tech startup late past year for undisclosed terms.

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