Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

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

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. reportedly has acquired Redux ST, a small United Kingdom -based startup that has developed haptics technology that turns smart device screens into sound speakers. Redux has technology that can turn your phone's display into a speaker and also offer a better haptic feedback experience. The transfer of shares between NVF Tech Limited, the holders of Redux and Google was confirmed on the 13th of December, last year.

A spokesperson for Google refused to comment on the price of the acquisition or any further details.

Promotion via the social media accounts of the company ended in April 2017 and in July Google employees were made directors, says City AM.

Redux raised $5M last spring and had granted 178 patents.

Ivanov told New Electronics: "We can turn the screen into a high quality loudspeaker, eliminating the need for an embedded speaker". If replaced, that could leave more space for a larger battery or other components: even, perhaps, the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack, were Google so inclined.

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

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. Stereo sound coming directly from the screens could make the phone look and sound slicker, and customers nostalgic for buttons and physical keyboards will spring for the improved haptic feedback.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems.

Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology. If Google doesn't put Redux's technology in a smartphone, it's certainly possible that the company could put it on one of its very own Smart Displays.

Google quietly acquired a United Kingdom tech startup without anyone noticing - until now that is.

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