Amazon’s Attempt to Keep Up with the iPad

It is inevitable that Amazon might lose its portion of the market share to Apple after the debut of the iPad device. This is not something that Amazon wants to experience, of course. Therefore, Amazon is currently attempting to keep up with Apple iPad. One of the steps Amazon is taking is the acquisition of a company that happens to be known as Touchco.

Touchco can be considered a newcomer in the industry of touch screen interface. Amazon and Touchco reached a deal last Wednesday (4th February 2010).

By aquiring the Touchco company, Amazon is intending to make their Amazon Kindle a more powerful device than it is at the moment. Amazon happens to be one of the pioneers of digital books. The company has sold 1.5 million units of the Amazon Kindle and they have become affiliated with loads of publishers as well, including the New York Times, in order to publish hundreds of thousands of digital books and articles that can be read on an Amazon Kindle device. Now, this step is exactly what Apple is also trying to take.

However, it is bad news to Amazon that the technology powering the Apple iPad is more attractive. The Apple iPad does not come with a black on white screen like the common digital book usually does. The device is also capable of supporting multi touch just as the iPod and iPhone do. Thanks to these kinds of technology, people can easily zoom in or zoom out with a few simple movements of their fingers.

Yet, the reason Amazon took acquisition of Touchco is to equip the Amazon Kindle with this multi touch technology. Touchco will be collaborating with the staff of the Kindle division, Lab 126, to achieve this goal. However, we cannot obtain further information since Amazon and Touchco prefer to stay quiet about it.

Word on the street is Touchco is using interpolating force-sensitive resistance technology. This technology will make it possible for users to give instructions to a device by simply touching it. Moreover, the screen is clear besides economic. For a screen that measures around 30 square centimeters, the cost is figured to be around $10 or less.

Touchco is also able to support multi touch which makes it possible for the company to identify which touch is slight and which touch is heavy. The company is planning to stick this screen onto an LCD just as Apple and Hewlett Packard exactly do. Another feature that Amazon is considering is a colorful screen.

Donalr Norman, a professor at the Northwestern University, tells New York Times that to compete with the iPad, Kindle came up with a lot of breakthroughs. The E-Ink technology that is being used by Kindle can be a superior factor over an iPad due to its proven durability for battery life. With cheaper a price, he is quite confident that Amazon is able to keep up with Apple. The next thing Amazon might need to do then is offer users a device that can accommodate multimedia applications.

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