Amazon Buys Touch Screen Company

According to The New York Times, as well as wide reports across the blogosphere, Amazon is rumored to have bought the touch screen startup Touchco and is planning to merge it with its Kindle hardware division. Like Amazon’s introduction of a Kindle app store, this purchase is another indication that Amazon doesn’t want to have its groundbreaking Kindle made obsolete by Apple.

Here’s a bit from The Times:

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 Apple’s 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 that 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.

Sounds pretty cool. While the Touchco acquisition is a sign we’re likely to see future Kindles that can do a lot more than slowly turn pages, there are those who may mourn the eventual loss of the E-Ink screen, the potential of which Amazon was the first to really master. But that’s a little ways off, and E-Ink screens can also be annoying.