Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Google secretly acquired a United Kingdom startup that could make smartphone speakers obsolete

Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google Google Acquires Redux, a Startup That Integrates Speakers into Smartphone Displays
Frank Williams | 11 January, 2018, 21:40

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. In March of past year, it raised $5 million in funding, with Crunchbase noting that the deal took place in August, with an Irish-based subsidiary of Google conducting the deal.

While no one was paying attention at the end of 2017, Google swooped in and purchased a company in the United Kingdom called Redux that has a couple of pretty unique ideas around display panels.

Redux said that Panel Audio removes the need for physical buttons, speaker grills and other gaps, enabling the creation of fully sealed phones that would be completely waterproof. Bezel-less phones will benefit a great deal from the speaker-display tech and will be able to further reduce the jawline. Redux has technology that can turn your phone's display into a speaker and also offer a better haptic feedback experience.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. In August, Google acquired the company for an undisclosed amount. This technology can free up space in the devices, creating room for batteries or other components.

It Looks Like Vive Pro Already Has FCC Approval
It uses Intel's WiGig technology, connecting to a PC in the 60GHz band instead of the more common 2.4 and 5GHz bands. It remains unclear whether HTC will manufacture improved controllers or a new SteamVR one will be released.

The last public communication from Redux was in April 2017, when it unveiled its Panel Audio technology, which uses haptic vibrations and "bending wave" sounds to turn smartphone and tablet screens into high-quality speakers.

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.

It remains to be seen what Google's plans are for this technology.

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