According to a recent article by Bloomberg, late past year Google sneakily picked up a United Kingdom -based startup called Redux that was working on some snazzy tech which can turn surfaces-like the screen on a phone or tablet-into speakers, and even provide more focused haptic effects.
It's not yet known when Alphabet - through an Ireland-based subsidiary of Google - bought the startup, but United Kingdom regulatory filings show that the transfer of shares was completed in mid-December.
Redux tech can turn a device display into a speaker, which would eliminate the need for speakers in small devices like smartphones and open up that space for other features.
Google did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment and clarification about the apparent acquisition.
On Wednesday night, a report revealed on Bloomberg quietly that Google acquisition of "Redux" could have major implications down the road. Just recently Wired wrote about how companies might use audio to transfer data, which may be part of Google's plan for Redux.
According to its page the company 'developed breakthrough technology which transforms the user experience by bringing surfaces to life with Sound and Touch'. It basically focuses on turning surfaces, like the display of smartphones, into speakers.
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At the time, it said the sound quality was 'decent'.
With the acquisition, Google now has an extra 178 patents under its belt, which it can use to enhance its future smartphone and other devices - perhaps even future Google Home hardware.
Redux raised $5m in March 2017 from investors including Arie Capital.
Some of Redux's tech has already appeared in PCs and vehicle infotainment systems.
Last year, on the sly, Google purchased United Kingdom startup Redux.