Google silently acquired a startup that can turn screen into speakers
Google silently acquired a major startup that could have great implications based on its technology. Redux a UK startup that uses vibrations to generate sounds from the display screens of tablets and mobiles was acquired by Google in August last year.
Redux developed a number of technologies involving sound and touch in mobile devices, but never placed them in any major consumer products.
In the past, the company has demoed its technology on smartphone and tablet displays, and that very well may be Google’s core intended use for this exciting technology. The tweet embedded below shows a prototype tablet that utilizes Redux technology to project sound from a tablet’s display.
Redux tech turns the screen into a speaker, and a haptic surface. Trying it out here. The sound is actually coming from the screen. pic.twitter.com/VPAi6TzKk9
For Google, a company keen to prove itself in the world of hardware, the attraction of such tech is obvious. Turning screens into speakers would help free up space inside smartphones for other components like bigger batteries. And displays with tactile feedback could offer a unique selling point for the company’s devices — similar to Apple’s pressure-sensitive “3D touch” iPhone screens.
Redux’s Nedko Ivanov told New Electronics in an interview back in 2016:
We can turn the screen into a high quality loudspeaker, eliminating the need for an embedded speaker. 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.
It remains to be seen what Google’s plans are for this technology.