Google Acquires Audio and Haptics Startup Redux

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Google has acquired the audio and haptics startup company Redux for an undisclosed price. Based in the United Kingdom, Redux is reportedly working on a speakerless stereo system. Rather than using traditional speakers to project sound, for instance, the startup is trying to replicate sound waves using haptics feedback.

As explained by Business Insider, Redux recently made a breakthrough discovery last year by developing a new audio process that can potentially turn a smartphone screen into a speaker. If true, this could yield major developments for the future of mobile devices. The audio of a smartphone or tablet wouldn’t be created by on-bound speakers. Instead, it would come from the surface, with Redux’ technology creating the sound via haptics feedback.

Haptics technology isn’t a new concept. If you own a modern smartphone, it probably features haptics technology. The most common example of haptics is vibration feedback produced by smartphones or other mobile devices. When you touch the screen, the device responds by vibrating. Known as haptics, this vibration helps to reduce typing errors and improves user satisfaction. However, it may also be used to create speakerless audio using the technology pioneered by Redux.

Of course, Google has dominated the smartphone market in recent years. According to Statista, 87.7 percent of all smartphones run the Mountain View company’s Android operating system. In comparison, only 13.7 percent run Apple’s iOS operating system.

With its recent acquisition of Redux, perhaps we’ll see some new features added to Google’s smartphone lineup. In addition to the Android operating system, Google has a line of smartphones, including the Nexus and Pixel. Analysts believe Google may one day integrate Redux’s technology in its mobile devices.

It’s unknown how much Google paid to acquire Redux. Last year, however, the U.K. tech company raised $5 million in a round of funding backed by investors like Arie Capital. According to the company’s social media profile, Redux has more than 170 patents.

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