Google secretly acquired a United Kingdom startup that could make smartphone speakers obsolete

Google has bought a company that turns any surface into a speaker

Speaker as you find

The transfer of shares of Redux's holding company NVF Tech was confirmed by United Kingdom regulatory filings on 13 December, but Crunchbase says the deal happened in August.

Redux was formed in 2013 from HiWave Technologies, a publicly listed audio and haptics manufacturer that went into administration.

Redux's main investor was Arie Capital, a United Kingdom -based venture and private equity company, which invested $5 million. Being able to do away with, or at least shrink, that physical component could be another significant advantage to smartphones with Redux technology onboard.

The US tech giant snapped up Cambridge firm Redux which can turn screens into speakers using haptic feedback.

So far, Redux has only been able to use its technologies inside PCs and some vehicle infotainment systems - but that could be about to change. For instance, the iPhone X and a couple of other bezel-less smartphones like the Mi Mix have strategically relocated hardware like the mic and the earpiece in order to accommodate the larger display.

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According to Redux's LinkedIn page, Google Inc (GOOG) could also improve its smartphones' haptic feedback, though the company could also license out Redux's technology and gain some revenue, the company has 178 granted patents and over 50 pending patent applications.

Hopefully, it won't be too long until Google integrates this technology into their system, because we'll be able to have even thinner devices with bigger batteries. If Google doesn't put Redux's technology in a smartphone, it's certainly possible that the company could put it on one of its very own Smart Displays.

It remains to be seen what Google's plans are for this technology.

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

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