Google acquired a United Kingdom startup that turns mobile screens into speakers

Google has bought a company that turns any surface into a speaker

According to a recent article by Bloomberg, late previous year Google sneakily picked up a United Kingdom -based startup called Redux that was working on some snazzy tech which can turn surfaces-like the screen on a phone or tablet-into speakers, and even provide more focused haptic effects.

Last April, Redux announced it had developed "panel audio technology", to replace smartphone speakers with sound coming directly from the screen. The transfer of shares was confirmed on December 13 based on United Kingdom regulatory filings.

Google has declined to comment on the acquisition, including how much might have been paid for Redux. As per the company's LinkedIn page, Redux has 50 pending patent and has been granted 178 patents. Should Google use this tech to remove the need for speakers in its future smartphones, it would free up space for other components and perhaps larger batteries, while doing away with bezels altogether.

Redux is also developing technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays. Backed by investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million in March 2017, and concentrated on markets including computing, mobile, automotive and industrial controls. 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 has already removed the headphone jack from the its latest Pixel phone, now it looks as though the company is heading in a direction where it will be able to send the speaker packing too.

According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point a year ago.

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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