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January 12, 2018

Google purchased a company that turns displays into speakers

by John_A

Is this a sign of things to come on the Pixel 3?

Right ahead of the Pixel 2’s unveiling last fall, it was announced that Google purchased a heap of smartphone engineers from HTC to spearhead smartphone projects for the coming years. According to a report from Bloomberg, Google made another purchase about a month before this for UK-based company Redux.

google-pixel-2-xl-bottom-bezel-black.jpg

If you haven’t heard of Redux, you’re not alone. The company hasn’t actually released any consumer-facing products, but the tech it’s developed is awfully intriguing. Redux’s technology uses vibrations with displays for a variety of different things, and the most notable use of this is the ability to harness these vibrations to turn displays into functioning speakers.

The folks at Mashable got a chance to go hands-on with a tablet demoing this at MWC last year, and in the video you see below, all the sound is coming from the display – not a traditional external speaker.

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

— Stan Schroeder (@franticnews) February 28, 2017

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. This sounds an awful lot like what Apple’s been doing with its Taptic Engine, and if you’ve ever messed around with a device that uses it, you know just how awesome it really is.

It’s unclear if/when Google will integrate this tech into products of its own, but there’s a very real possibility we could see a Pixel 3 next year with a display that acts as a speaker and some of the best haptic response yet on an Android device. We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves with that thought, but only time will tell where Google ends up going with this.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  • Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL review: The new standard
  • Google Pixel 2 specs
  • Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
  • Join our Pixel 2 forums

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