The acquisition could prove useful to Google, and could change the way it designed its future Pixel smartphones.
Redux's breakthrough technology transforms the User Experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch.
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. Redux is able to turn screens into a speakers by vibrating the screen itself.
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Redux is able to turn displays into speakers by putting small actuators on devices, according to Engadget. Currently, most implementations of haptics use a short buzz of the notification vibration motor to give a general indication that an on-screen control has been successfully tapped. "When it comes to mobile phones, we are not only saving valuable real estate and creating a waterproof housing, we are eliminating the need for additional speaker holes and most importantly, improving the audio quality". The actual deal was reportedly made in August 2017.
Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems. Google did not say how it plans to implement Redux's technology. The Pixel 2 in particular had very thick bezels that's very much the same size as its predecessor. 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. While the external space a speaker demands is one thing, it also occupies room inside the phone.
At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas this week, Google is heavily promoting its voice-controlled speakers that compete with Amazon's Echo device.