There are some acquisitions that are announced through press releases and blog posts and there are those that are just done quietly without fanfare. Well, apparently this new acquisition from Google is the latter. They have “quietly acquired” a 3D audio startup company called Dysonics sometime last December. While there has been no confirmation yet from Google, some of the Dysonics staff have joined the company these past few months and Google is also reportedly taking on some of the startup’s intellectual property like patents and other things that can be used in future projects and products.
Protocol reported about this acquisition which they saw in a recent filing with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. Since there has been no response from Google yet, there are no details about the terms of this deal just yet. Dysonics did disclose last year that they were able to raise funding from Intel Capital and other investors but they did not disclose how much that was. There’s no indication if Google was part of that round of funding or if it’s a different thing altogether.
Dysonics is an offshoot of the UC Davis Technology Incubator and actually employs less than 10 people. Some of their products include a motion tracker for headphones that can add spatial awareness to some audio wearables and they partnered with Virgin America to bring surround sound to their in-flight entertainment system. The startup was also able to develop 3D audio authoring software for VR content creators.
As to why Google would acquire this startup is still unknown at this time but it’s highly likely that it can be used for future features of upcoming Pixel Buds, specifically adding spatial audio that Apple already has for its Airpods Pro and Max wearables. It may also be used for audio features for Nest speakers and may even be used to power audio for Google AR hardware. This will all be interesting if proven true.
Dysonics co-founder and CTO Robert Dalton Jr has changed his LinkedIn profile to working at Google so this may be the confirmation that we need. Well of course we’ll wait for an official announcement from either or both companies if they get to it eventually.