5 Comments

Summary:

Faced with aggressive competition from Apple, Amazon is stepping up its hardware game. According to the New York Times, it has bought a small pre-product startup called Touchco and plans to merge it with its Kindle hardware division, Lab126. Two words: touchscreen Kindles.

Amazon, faced with aggressive competition from Apple and its forthcoming iPad, is stepping up its hardware game. According to the New York Times, it has bought a small pre-product startup called Touchco and plans to merge it with its Kindle hardware division, Lab126. Two words: touchscreen Kindles.

Touchco, a six-person startup out of the New York University Media Research Lab, has developed a sensitive surface that detects multiple pressure levels of unlimited simultaneous inputs and which it claims to be able to produce cheaply, as detailed by the same New York Times writer reporting the acquisition, Nick Bilton, at the end of December. It has since taken the content off its web site and replaced it with a note saying, “Thank you for your interest in Touchco. As of January 2010, the company is no longer doing business.”

Amazon is trying to step up its Kindle game to match the market — for instance, opening the device up to outside developers’ applications — but as James at jkOnTheRun has repeatedly pointed out, what really matters for e-book readers is content. Meanwhile, Motorola’s handset division invested in French touch startup Sensitive Object late last year.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d):

Rumored Apple Tablet Opportunites Too Big to Ignore

  1. Looking forward to a touch screen Kindle. Hopefully they can keep the same level of text clarity that makes the Kindle so special.

    Share
    1. That’s the problem. Adding a capacitive touchscreen will lower text clarity. Just like switching from Sprint to AT&T for 3G connectivity, it seems like the next “upgrade” for the Kindle will make it less usable, not more.

      Share
      1. True; I don’t know if having touch-screen capabilities is more important than readability.

        It seems that readability has been the major advantage that has put the Kindle one-up over it’s competitors- this kinda levels the playing field a bit; to Kindle’s disadvantage.

        Share
  2. [...] for example. But in the end, Amazon delivered and then improved. Now there’s word that Amazon bought a touchscreen company. Logically, one might assume that the Kindle 3 will include a touchscreen to assist with page [...]

    Share
  3. [...] button, for example. But in the end, Amazon delivered and then improved. Now there’s word that Amazon has bought a touchscreen company. Logically, one might assume that the Kindle 3 will include a touchscreen to assist with page [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post