Amazon buys touch screen start-up Touchco to help Kindle give Apple iPad a run for its money

February 3, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Amazon is sprucing up its Kindle e-reader bringing in touch screen start up company Touchco by way of an acquisition. It is expected that the Touchco’s interpolating force-sensitive resistance technology that allows for flexible, transparent and pressure-sensitive touch-screens would be soon be injected into the Kindle hardware operations.

The new buy is seen as Amazon’s bid to outdo Apple. The company wants its Kindle e-reader o be pitched against Apple’s latest iPad and beat it. The competition is already on. For instance, while the Touchco touch-screens could cost as little as $10 a square foot, the touch-screens in the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad are more expensive and cannot detect the unlimited amount of simultaneous touch points that Touchco’s technology allows. It seems like the Touchco purchase might provide Amazon with the ammunition to irk Apple in all manner possible. One significant aspect about the Touchco technology is that it can differentiate between the differing pressures produced by a finger or stylus.

By buying out the company with just six employees, Amazon would now be bringing in the Touchco team and tech to Lab126, the Kindle hardware division in Cupertino.

Among the many significant aspects about the Touchco multitouch technology is that it allows more than one person to touch a device simultaneously. It is said to be putting to use resistors that are sensitive to different levels of pressure. The screens can distinguish between the touch of a finger and the pressure of a pen or similar pointing device.

With the deal, Apple now has a rival to watch out for in its own territory. We are still waiting to know the financials of the deal.

(Via NYTimes)

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