Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

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

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

Google has snapped up the tech to make full-screen smartphones without an iPhone X style notch, using the touchscreen itself as a speaker.

Google has remained quiet on the acquisition of Redux.

It also has technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays, which provides vibrations to imitate what it feels like to push physical buttons.

The acquisition date isn't known, but shares of Redux's holding company were confirmed transferred to Google on December 13.

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It is unclear from a report in Bloomberg when exactly Alphabet bought Redux or what the terms of the deal were, and the startup seemingly went quiet sometime in the first half of 2017. The company could conceivably use the HTC team's expertise with Redux's technology to reduce speakers, create more room inside its smartphone cases, and create different-looking devices.

At the time, it said the sound quality was 'decent'. This is a company that has technology that allows the display on your mobile phone to act like a speaker.

Chief executive Nedko Ivanov, who left in August according to his LinkedIn profile, said in 2016 that the company hoped to break even by 2018.

So far, Redux has only been able to use its technologies inside PCs and some vehicle infotainment systems - but that could be about to change. Google will probably implement the tech in the upcoming Pixel lineup.

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Last year, on the sly, Google purchased United Kingdom startup Redux.

The startup held 178 patents, according to the company's LinkedIn page, almost all relating to using the surfaces of smartphones, tablets, and other devices into audio amplifiers.

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.

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