Google buys a firm that turns screens into speakers

Redux techGoogle parent Alphabet has quietly acquired a UK startup focussed on building a technology that can convert any screen into a speaker.

The startup called Redux developed the technology called Panel Audio that allowed the panels or screens to produce audio without needing any speakers. “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.

According to regulatory filings, the transaction, as a part of which Google’s UK subsidiary bought all the shares of Redux holding company NVF Tech Ltd., was completed in December last year. The actual deal was reportedly made in August 2017.

It is unclear at this point on what Alphabet plans to do with tech. But in the recent years, Google and other Alphabet subsidiaries have started focussing quite a lot on hardware products including Pixel smartphones, which seems like a good place to use the tech.

In addition to the Panel Audio tech, Redux was also working on tactile feedback tech, which could again be very useful for products with touchscreens.

“Redux solutions use sophisticated signal processing algorithms to focus desired haptic effects at specific touch-points. Different effects can be delivered simultaneously to different fingers, using actuators to create bending waves rather than bulk movement. This needs only a few actuators, is energy-efficient and scalable,” the startup wrote explaining the haptic tech on its website.

The financial details of the deal are a mystery right now.

Image Credit: Redux | Source: Bloomberg

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