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Amazon to upgrade kindle to take on Apple iPad?

Amazon.com buys flexible touchscreen maker

Amazon has purchased a flexible touchscreen manufacturer with the intention of upgrading its Amazon Kindle device to compete against the Apple iPad, the New York Times reports.

Amazon.com has purchased flexible touchscreen maker Touchco in an apparent attempt to beef up technology aboard its Kindle e-readers to better compete against Apple's iPad, the New York Times reported yesterday.

The company plans to merge Touchco's technology and researchers into its Kindle hardware division, Lab126, in Cupertino, California, the newspaper reported on its website.

Touchco was formed by a team of computer scientists from New York University's Media Research Lab to develop low-cost, low-power multitouch screens with a technology called interpolating force-sensitive resistance (IFSR). The screens can be used in e-readers and a host of other devices and cost as little as $10 per square foot, according to the report.

A notice on Touchco's site says simply that, "As of January 2010, the company is no longer doing business."

Amazon currently uses screen technology from market leader E-ink, which was bought by Taiwanese manufacturer Prime View International last year. E-ink technology is used in a number of e-readers, including Sony's Reader.

Neither Touchco nor Amazon could immediately be reached for comment.

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