Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade.
The real news out of Amazon tonight isn't that the largest online retailer in the world recently purchased Touchco, a relatively young company noted for their advanced touch-screen technology. The real story is about Apple.
According to The New York Times, the editors of which are likely thanking the stars above every night for the arrival of the iPad:
"Amazon will merge Touchco’s technology and staff members into its Kindle hardware division, Lab126, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., this person said."
Oh, it's true. And like Will Ferrell said in "Anchor Man," if you disagree "I will fight you."
While critics may snipe at the Pollyanna speculation, the iPad could very well prove a bigger, more groundbreaking product offering than the iPhone or virtually any other contemporary mobile gadget has been. Certainly, that's exciting for us as consumers. For competitors, however, it's frightening. For Amazon, the iPad likely represents an immediate punch to the gut - the result of which is the loss of revenue that accompanies the loss of Kindle's market share.
So what is Amazon to do? Exactly what it is doing - striving to take their technology and creative capacity to the next level. This is all but certainly where Touchco fits into the picture.
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 the iPad and iPhone are considerably more expensive. Unlike those screens, the Touchco screens can also detect an unlimited number of simultaneous touch points.
This isn't a move Amazon is simply motivated to make. It's a move they also now have to make.