As per e-reader news coming in, Touchco, a company that is pooling in a lot of research into touchscreen technology has been bought out by Amazon. The company has merged their new acquisition into its hardware development division called Lab126.
For Kindle users this is anything but good news. Although not all users of Kindle would vote for this view given the screen size of Kindle 2 being just 6-inches, many do believe that it is imperative for Kindle DX to have a touchscreen in order for it to be at par with other similar products. In fact, in a post iPad scenario, the very survival of the Kindle DX could be at stake if its makers do not come up with something that is radically new. Amazon could also consider doing away with the miniscule keyboard making space for an enlarged screen while keeping overall dimensions same.
Touchscreens could be classified into two types depending on the display technology used. They are the capacitive ones as in the Sony touch Edition that has glare issues, and which can often be distracting to the user. The other is the Wacom technology touchscreen that however comes at a premium. Also the Wacom technology supports only the stylus as its pointing device.
The new Neo e-reader from Endless Ideas features a touchscreen based on Wacom technology and retails for a price of $299. This makes it one of the cheapest e-readers to use this technology.
Touchco however is coming up with a radically new touchscreen technology. It uses an interpolating force-sensitive resistant technology, which makes the screen both flexible and transparent. The cost to manufacture per square foot of such a screen is just about $10. The technology allows for both finger or stylus type of input and is also capable of multitouch. So, with the next Kindle, we can expect a true multi touch screen and a smart device.
Watch out for more such news and views in our upcoming Good E-Reader Magazine due out next month.