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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.

Google has declined to comment on the acquisition, including how much might have been paid for Redux.

Redux's site has been taken down since the acquisition, but thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, we can see some of the details behind the startup. Bloomberg said that an official transfer of shares from Redux to Google occurred in December.

"Our technology enables smartphone manufacturers to reclaim valuable space within phones, which could be filled by a bigger battery", Redux Chief Executive Nedko Ivanov said at the time. Being able to do away with, or at least shrink, that physical component could be another significant advantage to smartphones with Redux technology onboard. This kind of imitates the sensation that makes it feel like users are actually pushing buttons or adjusting sliders on a device's display. These actuators will vibrate the screen allowing it to emit sound like a regular speaker.

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So far, Redux has only been able to use its technologies inside PCs and some vehicle infotainment systems - but that could be about to change. It's speculative, but it could be that Google plans on heating things up in the continued 2018 bezel race with some in-screen speakers on the next Pixel (s), or maybe it plans on using the company's improved haptics for a Taptic-like experience. As expected the Redux website is now down and Google is expected to officially announce the acquisition.

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.

Google quietly acquired a United Kingdom tech startup without anyone noticing - until now that is.


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