Google quietly acquired Dysonics, a 3D audio startup, back in December 2020, according to a new report. The discovery was made via a recent USPTO filing and seemingly confirmed by multiple employees who now list Google as their employer on LinkedIn. Though Google hasn’t commented on the acquisition, the nature of the startup hints at a bright future for Pixel Buds and Nest speakers.
The acquisition was recently discovered by Protocol, which cites a US Patent and Trademark Office filing that revealed the business move. Dysonics was a small startup that specialized in immersive 3D audio, including spatial sound, which gives listeners a sense of location and distance.
This type of audio technology has grown in popularity in recent years; we’ve seen, for example, the launch of 3D audio music streaming options through companies like Deezer, and all signs point toward the arrival of spatial 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 another on ‘audio algorithms for a variety of Google’s hardware products.’
Though it’s unclear how Google plans to leverage this acquisition, it may signal the arrival of future Pixel Buds better able to compete with Apple’s AirPods Pro and Max models. Both of those true wireless Apple earbuds support spatial audio for what the company calls ‘theater-like sounds that surround’ the listener.
It’s just as possible that Google may use the technology to boost its various Nest speaker products — or it may have an entirely new audio product in the pipeline that’ll offer spatial audio experiences, perhaps one involving virtual or augmented reality. Google hasn’t commented on the news.