Google buys UK tech start-up that turns surfaces into speakers

Redux technology eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones

Google’s stand at CES: the firm has quietly acquired a UK start-up focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers

Google’s stand at CES: the firm has quietly acquired a UK start-up focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers

 

Google has quietly acquired a UK start-up focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers. Redux developed technology that eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones, freeing up space for batteries or other components, the Cambridge, UK-based start-up said on its now defunct website.

It is unclear when Google’s parent Alphabet – via a subsidiary of Google based in Ireland – acquired Redux, but the transfer of shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech to the US tech giant was confirmed on December 13th, according to UK regulatory filings. Crunchbase said the deal happened in August.

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment on a purchase price, or other the details of the acquisition. Backed by investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million (€4.15 million) in March 2017, and concentrated on markets including computing, mobile, automotive and industrial controls. The UK company had 178 granted patents, according to its LinkedIn page. Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology.

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. Redux’s technology could also be used to create haptic feedback – which gives the sense of touch on a surface such as a screen.

– Bloomberg