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Tech

Is Amazon's Kindle about to get a touch screen?

Yesterday news broke of Amazon buying Touchco. Touchco is a small company that was birthed out of a project at New York University's Media Research Lab.
Written by Joel Evans, Contributor on

Yesterday news broke of Amazon buying Touchco. Touchco is a small company that was birthed out of a project at New York University's Media Research Lab. The company itself had yet to ship a product but was working with display technology, called interpolating force-sensitive resistance, that can detect an unlimited number of simultaneous touch points, and for what could be cheaper than the cost to produce a capacitive touch screen.

The news has everyone speculating that a color touch screen could be coming soon to the Kindle. Before you jump on that current wave, though, keep in mind that Touchco had yet to ship anything. So, perhaps Amazon is just trying to guarantee that it could be competitive if needed, or maybe the company is indeed preparing to go touch? According to the articles I've read, Touchco barely had six employees. This screams research to me, and since Touchco will now join the Kindle hardware group, I would expect that it's going to be research for a while still.

Currently, most ebook readers provide the same reading experience screen-wise, since they're all using displays by E Ink. If Amazon fast tracks Touchco's technology, at the very least it will take the focus off of Apple's iPad, with Kindle lovers potentially holding off on the iPad purchase in hopes of seeing a touch-friendly Kindle by year's end.

Regardless of how Amazon decides to use Touchco's technology, the company has now succeeded in keeping current with the iPad, with both an announcement of its pending Kindle Development Kit and now it's acquisition of Touchco.

While most people continue to say that they want the Kindle to just be a good ebook reader, with a touch Kindle and an App Store, Amazon could have a killer device on its hands.

I can't wait to see what Apple's next move is on this one.

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