Google quietly acquired Dysonics, a 3D audio startup, in December 2020, according to a new report. The discovery was made through a recent USPTO registration and apparently confirmed by several employees who now list Google as their employer on LinkedIn. Although Google has not commented on the acquisition, the nature of the startup suggests a bright future for Pixel Buds and Nest speakers.
The acquisition was recently discovered by Protocol, which cites an order from the US Patent and Trademark Office that revealed the company’s movement. Dysonics was a small startup specializing in immersive 3D audio, including spatial sound, that gives listeners a sense of location and distance.
This type of audio technology has grown in popularity in the past few years; we saw, for example, the launch of 3D audio music streaming options through companies like Deezer, and all signs point to the arrival of space audio in the podcast market.
According to the new report, LinkedIn profiles for certain Dysonics employees now list them as working for Google, one specifically on ‘audio hardware’ and the other on ‘audio algorithms for a variety of Google hardware products’ .
While it is unclear how Google plans to leverage this acquisition, it could signal the arrival of future Pixel Buds better able to compete with Apple’s AirPods Pro and Max models. Both of Apple’s true wireless headsets support spatial audio for what the company calls “theater sounds that surround” the listener.
It is also possible that Google will use the technology to power its various Nest speaker products – or it may have an entirely new audio product in development that will offer space audio experiences, perhaps involving virtual or augmented reality. Google did not comment on the news.