Cambridge-based Redux bought by Google

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Google has quietly bought a United Kingdom startup named Redux that uses vibrations to turn phone and tablet displays into speakers, reports Bloomberg.

The acquisition is reflected on Crunchbase, and in confirmed transfer of shares within United Kingdom regulatory filings.

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment on a purchase price, or other the details of the acquisition. The Verge had some hands-on time with the company's tech previous year, trying out a tablet which vibrated its screen to function as a speaker, as well as a number of displays that used haptic feedback to mimic the feel of buttons, sliders, and dials.

Redux developed technology that eliminates the need for small speakers in mobile phones, freeing up space for batteries or other components, the Cambridge, U.K. -based startup said on its now defunct website.

Along with this, Redux can also use these vibrations to create haptic feedback when interacting with a display that tries to mimic the feel of touching buttons and moving sliders/dials.

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Details of the deal remain undisclosed, but it's worth noting that Redux closed a $5m round in March previous year from investors including Arie Capital.

The company's Crunchbase profile states that Redux "creates products and bespoke systems that enable customisable, high-resolution haptic feedback and speakerless surround sound audio". Redux has demoed the tech with a custom-built PC monitor. The Pixel 2 in particular had very thick bezels that's very much the same size as its predecessor.

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.

At CES 2018, Google mainly focused on promoting its smart speakers and its new line of Smart Display devices, its direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show.

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