Google has purchased a United Kingdom startup called Redux, which is known for developing technologies that allows mobile displays to turn into speakers. So not only can the company's tech turn a flat surface like the screen of a phone into a pair of speakers, but it can also be used to provide focused haptic feedback-for instance, to make certain parts of the screen "feel" different.
Google declined to comment on the price and details of the deal. The company had 178 granted patents, according to its LinkedIn page.
On Wednesday night, a report revealed on Bloomberg quietly that Google acquisition of "Redux" could have major implications down the road. According to regulator filings, the shares of Redux' holding company were transferred to Alphabet in early December a year ago.
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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. The Pixel 2 in particular had very thick bezels that's very much the same size as its predecessor.
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. It could also improve waterproofing for future phones since it eliminates the need for speaker holes. 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. At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas this week, Google is heavily promoting its voice-controlled speakers that compete with Amazon.com Inc.'s Echo device.
According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point past year.