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

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

Alphabet Inc.'s Google has quietly acquired a British technology startup focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers, according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday.

Social media promotion of the company through its own accounts ended in April 2017 while financial accounts for NVF Tech - the name under which Redux is registered - show Google employees were made directors in July, while employees of Redux and its investor Arie Capital were removed. According to Crunchbase, Redux has also previously raised more than $5 million in funding before it was acquired by Google.

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Redux is led by its CEO Nedko Ivanov, formerly CEO of BullGuard, John Kavanagh who hails from IBM and CapGemini, David Gammie, who has formerly at Plastic Logic, and Nimrata Boora who came from Deloitte and then HiWave Technology. "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".

As for what Google could do with Redux, the search giant may build smartphones that eschew speakers. Being able to do away with, or at least shrink, that physical component could be another significant advantage to smartphones with Redux technology onboard. However, both smartphones needed to have some bezels to make that possible.

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Along with this, Redux can also use these vibrations to create haptic feedback when interacting with a display that tries to mimic the feel of touching buttons and moving sliders/dials.

Hopefully, it won't be too long until Google integrates this technology into their system, because we'll be able to have even thinner devices with bigger batteries. 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.

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