Motorola funding ultrasonic multitouch

December 4, 2009 | 12:36

Tags: #capacitive #multi-touch #multitouch #resistive #reversys #touch #touch-screen #touchscreen

Companies: #motorola #sensitive-object

You may remember back in April when Paris-based start-up Sensitive Object hit the scene, promising ultrasonic touch-sensitive technology that could turn any object into a multitouch surface.

Well, while the technology hasn't exactly sent manufacturers of capactitive touchscreens running for the hills, it's getting a certain amount of interest from mobile manufacturers: according to SlashGear, Motorola has invested heavily in the company.

The deal makes sense for both companies: the biggest hurdle currently facing adoption of Sensitive Object's ReverSys technology - which opts to use reflected soundwaves rather than surface resistance or capacitance - is that it's a work in progress, and many companies would rather someone else spends the money first to see if it will succeed or fail. Motorola, on the other hand, gets the chance to implement a technology which is both novel - with the promise of making any or even every surface on a device touch-sensitive, not just the screen - and promises to provide a responsive touch experience at a lower cost, requiring fewer expensive components than current approaches.

Reese Schroeder, the managing director of Motorola's venture capital arm, said in a statement that "Sensitive Object provides an innovative and unique approach allowing new ways of interaction[, and] we're most excited to be involved in their growth and success." Sensitive Object's chief executive officer Herve Martin echoed the sentiments and said "Motorola is a perfect partner for our disruptive touch solution considering Motorola's innovative and successful history with mobile phones."

No financial details of the deal have been released, and it's not known when - or even if - Motorola will have a device based on Sensitive Object's ReverSys technology ready to market.

Does the thought of a sound-based touch-sensitive device that can respond on any surface give you all kinds of ideas for exciting new user interface design, or would you need to see the tech in action before you ditch your capacitive touchscreen? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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