LONDON Ė Haptic and embedded audio startup Redux Laboratories LLP (Cambridge, England) has announced it spin out from HiWave Technologies plc.
The company is led by HiWave's former CEO, James Lewis, and CTO, Chris Travis. The company has been formed to take the flat panel audio and tactile feedback technology to market. Lewis said the company will deliver a range of touch and audio transducers, electronic control modules and chipsets, evaluation platforms and bespoke system development for multiple market sectors.
Lewis was previously CEO of HiWave Technolologies plc, a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange. That company went into administration in February and sold off its subsidiary HiWave Ltd. to investment company Greenwich Loan Income Fund (GLIF), said Lewis.
GLIF has opted to split the company in two with HiWave Audio Ltd. selling loudspeaker products based on the flat panel speaker technology and Redux formed to sell the embedded audio and haptics.
The technology, which originated with a company called NXT, uses patented techniques that use sub-sonic audio waves, generated by exciters mounted on the screen edge to deliver the sensation of a button click. The technology can be configured to mimic the tactile and acoustic sensations of real-world user inputs such as sliders or a specific button press on a flat panel such as a display. For example, users could discern the separate keys on a tablet keyboard, or drivers could locate and operate touch panel switches in vehicles without being visually distracted.
These haptic effects are localised to the point of touch enabling an effective multi-touch environment where the tactile sensation is only felt by the finger pressing the key. The same transducers can also cover the audible spectrum to deliver audio cues, messages and alerts from the surface being touched.
With regard to HiWave Technologies plc going into administration, Lewis said: "We understood the opportunities but it was a difficult business environment." He said that, as a private company, Redux would now benefit from flexible financial support from GLIF and because the developers were now prepared to integrate haptics in applications including white goods, automotive and smartphones and tablet computers.