Google quietly purchased a UK sound tech startup

GoogleGoogle reportedly went under the radar and acquired a UK startup that turns screens, such as phone displays, into speakers. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

The Cambridge-based startup, named Redux, developed technology that eliminates the need for speakers in mobile phones, thus freeing up space for other components.

According to Bloomberg, Redux was purchased via an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google at some point last year. The transfer of shares of Redux’s holding company NVF Tech was confirmed by UK regulatory filings on 13 December, but Crunchbase says the deal happened in August.

Redux raised $5m in March 2017 from investors including Arie Capital. Its technology controls sub-sonic and sonic waves across a flat or curved surface to create a loudspeaker or customisable haptic effect on a 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.