Amazon snaps up touch-screen startup

Book-flogging Internet giant, Amazon has reportedly acquired a New York company which specialises in advanced touch-screen technology, fuelling rumours of an impending upgrade to the Kindle e-book reader.

The New York Times says that Touchco - despite not having any commercial products available - has developed 'interpolating force-sensitive resistance', which can detect an unlimited amount of finger presses on a screen, and could cost less than $10 per square foot to implement, considerably cheaper than the iPad's capacitive touch screen.

The flexible screen overlays are also sensitive to pressure and can tell the difference between a finger and a stylus.

Amazon has already dropped the price of its Kindle reader in order to better compete with the forthcoming iPad, but the prospect of a full colour touch-screen version of the Kindle device would be welcome competition for what everyone is expecting to be Apple's game-changing tablet.