jh-siesta.com
jh-siesta.com January 21, 2018


Google secretly acquires Cambridge startup company

12 January 2018, 12:29 | Gretchen Simon

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

Google reportedly went under the radar and acquired a United Kingdom startup that turns screens, such as phone displays, into speakers.

Last April, Redux announced it had developed "panel audio technology", to replace smartphone speakers with sound coming directly from the screen. According to regulator filings, the shares of Redux' holding company were transferred to Alphabet in early December past year.

Google has yet to comment on a purchase price, or any other aspect of the acquisition.

According to Redux's LinkedIn page, Google Inc (GOOG) could also improve its smartphones' haptic feedback, though the company could also license out Redux's technology and gain some revenue, the company has 178 granted patents and over 50 pending patent applications.


It also has technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays, which provides vibrations to imitate what it feels like to push physical buttons.

Just over a week before, Redux had raised $5 million, led by Arie Capital, to bring its products to market.

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. For Panel Audio, they are using special actuators that "deliver naturalistic wide-frequency-range audio from a panel or display (without micro-speakers and apertures) - providing a versatile and robust overall solution". Its main Google division started selling its own smartphones in 2016, so new engineering talent from Redux may help the company develop handsets with better sound. The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech previous year, trying out a tablet which vibrated its screen to function as a speaker, as well as a number of displays that used haptic feedback to mimic the feel of buttons, sliders, and dials.



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