Google quietly acquires British tech startup Redux that turns screens into speakers

Google quietly acquires British tech startup Redux that turns screens into speakers

According to regulatory filings, the transfer of shares was confirmed in December. Bezel-less phones will benefit a great deal from the speaker-display tech and will be able to further reduce the jawline. 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. These actuators will vibrate the screen allowing it to emit sound like a regular speaker.

Someone had a go on it almost a year ago and it appeared genuine, with the haptic actuators also serving to add depth to the feel of the display.

When Apple Inc. (AAPL) ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone, and it said the reason was "courage"? that wasn't the reason, the actual reason was simple: in the ongoing fight to make thinner smartphones that pack in more and more tech, space is at a premium.

As for what Google could do with Redux, the search giant may build smartphones that eschew speakers.

This would free up space for other components, such as larger batteries or a better cameras, in Google products such as Pixel phones.

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Alphabet has a range of potential uses for the technology.

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.

It is unclear what work the Redux team will do for Google, or already has been doing, but it's possible that they could be working to use the technology to improve the sound quality of Google's own smartphones.

It remains to be seen what Google's plans are for this technology. Panel Audio could allow Google to cram a lot more hardware into its phones, which could give it more room to boost the on-device artificial intelligence services it has been pushing over the a year ago.