Google bought a United Kingdom startup that turns screens into speakers

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United Kingdom startup Redux had developed a way to use vibrations in a surface - such as a touchscreen display - to emit sound, thus allowing the device to do away with a dedicated speaker, Bloomberg reports. The transfer of shares was confirmed on December 13 based on United Kingdom regulatory filings.

While no one was paying attention at the end of 2017, Google swooped in and purchased a company in the United Kingdom called Redux that has a couple of pretty unique ideas around display panels. Redux is the developer of an innovative technology that allows surfaces, such as smartphone displays and PC monitors, to act as speakers.

It also has technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays, which provides vibrations to imitate what it feels like to push physical buttons. It raised $5 million in March 2017 year from investors, and while the search giant hasn't offered a statement regarding the purchase, it isn't hard to guess at what Google might have in mind. Turning screens into speakers would help free up space inside smartphones for other components like bigger batteries. Before the acquisition, Redux focused not only on the mobile market, but also on the computing, automotive, and industrial markets, so its technology seems flexible enough to be used in several fields. The Pixel 2 in particular had very thick bezels that's very much the same size as its predecessor.

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The company's Crunchbase profile states that Redux "creates products and bespoke systems that enable customisable, high-resolution haptic feedback and speakerless surround sound audio".

Google has made a concerted effort at CES to promote new features in its series of voice-controlled speakers.

Google has acquired a United Kingdom startup that can turn mobile device displays into speakers.