Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Amazon buys Touchco - UPDATE2

Amazon has acquired Touchco, a New York-based start-up specializing in touch-screen technology.  We all know what that means.  This, coupled with the Mirasol stories about something happening with Qualcomm's color display and Amazon's Kindle (with hints from Qualcomm reps), indicate we may see an additional, quite different Kindle by September-October or so, at which time the non-touchscreen models will likely go down in price.

The NY Times story by Nicky Bilton and Brad Stone reports that the staff of 6 for that start-up will merge with Lab126, Amazon's Kindle hardware division, which has recently had ads for 40+ new technical employees)

Like the Mirasol technology, this one will be somewhat less expensive (relative to similar items of their types) for makers also.  The report says that
' Touchco uses a technology called interpolating force-sensitive resistance, which it puts into displays that can be completely transparent and could cost as little as $10 a square foot. The capacitive touch screens used in the iPad and iPhone are considerably more expensive. Unlike those screens, the Touchco screens can also detect an unlimited number of simultaneous touch points.

Touchco’s technology uses resistors that are sensitive to different levels of pressure. It has said its screens can distinguish between the touch of a finger and the pressure of a pen or similar pointing device. The company had designed its technology to work well with full-color LCD screens, similar to those used in the iPad and Hewlett-Packard’s coming line of tablet PCs. The technology could allow Amazon to introduce a full-color touch-screen Kindle, raising the question of whether the device’s current displays, which are made by a company called E Ink will play a role in the next round of reading devices. '
The caption under the photo describes a feature not mentioned in the body of the article: "Touchco’s technology is fully flexible, as pictured here, which would allow for a more robust Kindle."

UPDATE, 2:48 PM - Original posting made 2:32 PM
Eric Engleman of TechFlash reports that "Amazon nabbed Microsoft Windows executive Mike Nash for its Kindle team."  He'd worked most recently as corporate vice president in charge of Windows 7 platform strategy.

Engleman also sees that the Lab126 ads have increased to 50.

UPDATE2, 3:04 PM - Extremely brief video (a few nanoseconds)of an example of the Touchco GUI - involves moving an object, in this case, on a remote screen.
Other company videos once at youtube are no longer available there. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. Oh no's. This means I might have to buy a new I mean gadget.
    What am I saying? Internet, video, color, possible ebook format graphic novels (Igotnothing=big geek).
    Bring it on!

  2. Igotnothing-big geek,
    It'll take a minimum 7-8 months so there's some time to save up some money for what would be less expensive than other types of color touchscreen e-readers.


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