Amazon acquires touch screen startup; Souped up Kindle being planned?

Amazon acquires touch screen startup; Souped up Kindle being planned?

Summary: Amazon is reportedly buying Touchco, a start-up focused on touch screen technology, in a move that may signal a multi-touch Kindle in the future.

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TOPICS: Amazon, Hardware
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Amazon is reportedly buying Touchco, a start-up focused on touch screen technology, in a move that may signal a multi-touch Kindle in the future.

According to the New York Times, Amazon is acquiring Touchco, a New York-based company with a handful of employees and technology that was never commercialized.

Touchco was a project at New York University's Media Research Lab. Terms of the deal weren't available, but it doesn't appear to be material enough to warrant much disclosure.

What does this deal mean?

For starters, the Kindle is likely to use this technology for a touch screen at some point. Amazon appears to be buying technology that could put the Kindle on similar footing with Apple's iPad.

Touchco also has color screen technology with touch capabilities throughout. Amazon's move is likely to be just the beginning. Expect a Kindle price cut shortly and then new models later this year.

Simply put, there's a netbook/e-reader arms race underway. This should be fun.

Also: iPad: One heat-seeking missile

Topics: Amazon, Hardware

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7 comments
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  • what happened to e-ink?

    but i thought black and white non touchscreen e-ink screens are so
    superior for reading? what happened?
    bannedfromzdnetagain
    • Who said they were giving up e-Ink?

      That's mighty presumptuous of you. It's more likely that they want to combine both.
      T1Oracle
      • combine

        you mean amazon will do with a 6 man shop what myriads of engineers
        over a decade coudn't do: adding color to e-ink let alone touch?
        bannedfromzdnetagain
        • I doubt they're going for the trifecta.

          I think you'll see a touchscreen e-Ink device from Amazon (possibly with multitouch), but I doubt it will be in color. Color seems to be the most difficult part of the equation, and the success thus far of the Kindle indicates to me that people are willing to dispense with color if the text is easy on the eyes and not exorbitantly expensive.

          My only apprehension about this is that everything I've read says that touchscreens make e-Ink text slightly fuzzier because it adds an extra layer between the e-Ink and the user. I hope they're able to solve [i]that[/i] problem.
          bhartman36
    • ....

      Oh brother...

      It IS superior for reading - I didn't believe it until I tried it. I could see myself reading novels on those eInk screens, something my eyes couldn't possibly stand with the usual backlit screens.

      This could just be another one in a line of products, I doubt this acquisition means they're giving up on eInk.
      MikeR666
    • Touchscreens

      Non-touchscreen e-Ink displays [i]are[/i] superior for reading -- thus far. My suspicion is that one of two things happened:

      1) This company found a way to make the touchscreen thin enough that it won't make the e-Ink text fuzzy.

      2) Amazon is developing a touchscreen reader for those who want one, to appeal to those users who will sacrifice a little readability for the sake of a touchscreen interface and the other functions this technology is capable of (e.g., operation with a stylus, multitouch, etc.).
      bhartman36
  • Sounds like there is going to be a flood of innovation on tablet computers!

    The technology has finally caught up to make tablets viable
    after all these years.
    DonnieBoy