It always interests us when we hear that a giant company is acquiring various startups, as it echoes something is up. That’s what all of us probably thought of after Google’s relentless audio startup buying spree that started in December 2020. The transactions (including tech, talent, and IP) cost the company millions of dollars, and everyone believes that it is mainly for two obvious reasons: Google is trying to improve its audio product offerings and expand its patent portfolio.
The latter is truly reasonable since Google recently had to disable some features from some of its devices after a judge’s ruling that it had infringed on Sonos’ patents. With this, securing protection against patent lawsuits in the future is a must. Nonetheless, the possibility of the company concocting new innovations in its audio products is probably the main objective behind its actions. After all, the acquisition includes tons of talent, and given the details of the techs Google has purchased over the past few months, everyone can bet that Google is preparing something big.
For the past 15 months, Google has already dealt with four transactions related to audio technologies. One of the significant purchases it made is from Synaptics, wherein Google finally took over parts of the audio hardware business for $35 million. This gave Google the power over the company’s balanced stereo headphones, active noise-canceling earbuds, and other hardware patents and patent applications.
After the said deal with Synaptics, Google then made its move to secure the ownership of Dysonics, a 3D audio startup. The company offered Google previously developed 3D audio authoring software, motion-tracking hardware for headphones, and even talent. It is followed by another purchase in 2021 from the now-defunct RevX Technologies. The deal comprises talent, the IP for a small portable device optimizing in-ear monitors, and more.
Lastly, Google acquired Tempow in May last year for $17.4 million. The French audio wearables startup handed Google its talents, patents, and patent applications. The patents feature a tech described as “the first OS for true wireless earbuds” and techs that allow low latency Bluetooth earbuds and switching between multiple earbud architectures.