Google has quietly acquired a UK-based startup focused on technology that turns surfaces such as phone displays into speakers. The startup, named Redux, developed a technology that eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones, freeing up space for batteries or other components.
The transaction was facilitated through Google’s Ireland-based subsidiary. The transfer of shares of Redux’s holding company, NVF Tech, to the American technology giant was confirmed on December 13, 2017, according to UK regulatory filings. Crunchbase, however, speculated that the deal happened back in August of 2017.
Backed by several investors including Arie Capital, Redux raised $5 million in March 2017, which helped it to concentrate on markets such as computing, mobile, automotive, and industrial controls. The startup has 178 granted patents with 50 pending, according to its LinkedIn page.
Redux was founded in 2013.
Google has a wide range of potential uses for this technology. In particular, its own smartphones, the Pixel series, were made available in 2016. It is safe to assume that the new engineering talent from Redux will 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. It can also be used to improve or upgrade the AI speakers Google Home and Google Home Mini.
A spokesperson for Google declined to comment on the purchase price, or grant any other details about the acquisition. Meanwhile, at the most recent CES conference, the U.S.-based tech giant is heavily promoting the Google Home devices and trying hard to push Pixel models in the market.