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

12 January 2018

Google has purchased a United Kingdom startup called Redux, which is known for developing technologies that allows mobile displays to turn into speakers.

Redux shares were transferred to Google on December 13, according to United Kingdom regulatory filings, though Crunchbase said the deal took place back in August.

A spokesperson for Google refused to comment on the price of the acquisition or any further details.

Last year, it received £3.7 million ($5 million) from an array of investors, including Arie Capital.

The technology, developed by Redux, eliminates the necessity of small speakers in mobile devices. It also creates solutions to create so-called haptic feedback, which allows users to carry out different tasks on current smartphones by applying different pressure to the screen.

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Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. For instance, the iPhone X and a couple of other bezel-less smartphones like the Mi Mix have strategically relocated hardware like the mic and the earpiece in order to accommodate the larger display. The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech a year ago, 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. Needless to say, the tech that helps integrate smartphone speakers within the display will be invaluable for Google or any other smartphone manufacturers.

Redux isn't the only company looking to transform screens into speakers.

At CES 2018, Google mainly focused on promoting its smart speakers and its new line of Smart Display devices, its direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show.

Redux has demoed its technology on smartphone and tablet displays, in the past, and that very well may be Google Inc (GOOG)'s core intended use for this exciting technology.

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