Google Acquires Company With Tech That Turns Displays Into Speakers

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The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech a year ago, trying out a tablet which vibrated its screen to function as a speaker, as well as a number of displays that used haptic feedback to mimic the feel of buttons, sliders, and dials.

If Google decides to use Redux's display-speaker technology on its future Pixel phones, the company could achieve a better bezel-less design without removing front-facing speakers.

It's not yet known when Alphabet - through an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google - bought the startup, but United Kingdom regulatory filings show that the transfer of shares was completed in mid-December.

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Google has yet to comment on a purchase price, or any other aspect of the acquisition.

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. This will allow mobile devices to free up space for other components, like batteries. The company raised $5m back in March 2017.

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.

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The company now has 178 granted patents and more than 50 patents pending. The same controlled vibrations could also be used to deliver haptic feedback through the display.

Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. This technology has interesting ramifications and possible uses in Google's consumer lineup.

Google has remained quiet on the acquisition of Redux. It has also emerged that the company quietly purchased a United Kingdom startup called Redux in August.

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