Google bought a United Kingdom startup that turns screens into speakers

Doris Richards
January 11, 2018

Google has snapped up the tech to make full-screen smartphones without an iPhone X style notch, using the touchscreen itself as a speaker.

The Cambridge-based startup, named Redux, developed technology that eliminates the need for speakers in mobile phones, thus freeing up space for other components. The Verge was actually able to try out the startup's technology previous year on a tablet. The sound quality is said to be "decent".

It also has technologies that add haptic feedback on mobile displays, which provides vibrations to imitate what it feels like to push physical buttons. Previous demonstrations show Redux playing back music via a tablet device, which possesses tiny actuators that vibrate the screen and effectively turn it into a loudspeaker. Redux claims that Tactile Feedback is "energy-efficient and scalable".


Neither the date of the acquisition, first spotted by Bloomberg, or how much Google paid has been revealed. Just recently Wired wrote about how companies might use audio to transfer data, which may be part of Google's plan for Redux. The current Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were criticized by some quarters for not trimming their bezels quite as aggressively as other devices on the market did.

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. Its main Google division started selling its own smartphones in 2016, so new engineering talent from Redux may help the company develop handsets with better sound.

Google has remained quiet on the acquisition of Redux.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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