Google Buys UK Audio Startup Redux
Google appears to have acquired Redux, a UK-based audio startup with innovative in-screen speaker technology, according to a report from Bloomberg. The buyout took place quietly in August 2017 and was only confirmed by the transfer of shares from Redux’s holding company, NVF Tech Ltd., to Google on December 13th.
The startup held 178 patents, according to the company’s LinkedIn page, nearly all relating to using the surfaces of smartphones, tablets, and other devices into audio amplifiers. 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.
Google’s been trying to change the game with its Google Pixel smartphone lineup, focusing on the camera experience even introducing a custom image processing chip — the Pixel Visual Core. Perhaps Google’s hoping to use Redux’s in-screen technology to engineer a bezel-less smartphone screen with front-firing speakers, or to generate realistic haptic feedback.
Of course, it might be that the company’s acquired Redux’s expertise and intellectual property for other purposes. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.