Google has quietly bought a United Kingdom startup named Redux that uses vibrations to turn phone and tablet displays into speakers, reports Bloomberg. "Redux actuators deliver naturalistic wide-frequency-range audio from a panel or display (without micro-speakers and apertures) - providing a versatile and robust overall solution", the startup explained on its now dead website. This technology can free up space in the devices, creating room for batteries or other components.
The company now has 178 granted patents and more than 50 patents pending.
According to regulatory filings, the transaction, as a part of which Google's United Kingdom subsidiary bought all the shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech Ltd., was completed in December a year ago.
So far, Google doesn't seem to have integrated any of Redux's tech into its products, but if the acquisition were that recent, they wouldn't have had the time to.
Redux is also developing technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays.More news: Cryptocurrency Market crashes after excluding South Korean Exchange Data
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So far, Redux has only been able to use its technologies inside PCs and some auto infotainment systems - but that could be about to change.
The takeover of the sound specialists could see an influx of new engineering talent for Google that could help the company incorporate better sound systems into its handsets in the future. The Pixel 2 in particular had very thick bezels that's very much the same size as its predecessor.
As for what Google could do with Redux, the search giant may build smartphones that eschew speakers.
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.
Redux specialised in transforming any surface into a speaker and Google purchased the company late previous year.