Earliest demos of iPhone tech were clunky and 'huge'

The small device known as the iPhone that fits in your pocket wasn't always so tiny.

In fact, one of the early demos was so clunky that its description conjures up images of the first, massive mainframe computers, instead of the slick handset-computers Apple eventually introduced in July 2007.

In a long magazine piece published online Friday in The New York Times, then-Apple executive Tony Fadell recalled Steve Jobs showing him an early example of the phone's eventual touch-screen technology in mid-2005:

"He said: 'Tony, come over here. Here's something we're working on. What do … Read more

Haptix sensor makes any surface multitouch

We've seen several interesting concepts for new input devices recently, from split keyboards to midair typing apps.

Haptix is a compact 3D motion sensor that turns any flat area into a multitouch surface. It could help do away with the traditional keyboard as well as the mouse.

The concept has already raised more than $130,000 on Kickstarter with the promise of 3D multitouch for $70 or less. … Read more

New software update addresses Nexus 7 multitouch issues

A software update is rolling out to the new Nexus 7 that should fix the multitouch problems, according to new reports.

For all of the praise for the new Nexus 7, it is not above the occasional glitch. Some early adopters of the next-gen tablet found problems with pinching to zoom or using two fingers.

Word began to trickle out in the days following the Nexus 7 release that Google was investigating issues relating to the tablet's display.

Paul Wilcox, Google community manager for Android, posted the following response in an ongoing thread at Google's product forum: "… Read more

New Nexus 7 owners bump into multitouch issues

The new Nexus 7 may be a bit out of touch when it comes to multitouch.

Several owners of Google's new tablet say the screen doesn't respond properly when they perform certain multitouch actions, such as pinching to zoom in or touching the screen with two fingers to move an item. Commenters posting on Google Groups and the XDA Developers forum over the past couple of weeks report a few related issues.

In some cases, pinching the screen causes surrounding items to jump around. In other cases, several attempts must be made to move an object successfully using … Read more

IE takes Contre Jour to the next level

Contre Jour may look like little more than a high-gloss version of Cut the Rope, but that sheen goes a long way. Last year, it earned top honors from Apple itself in 10 countries across Asia and Europe, and starting today you can play Contre Jour on the Web for free for the first time.

It appears to faithfully replicate its gameplay from the iPad, right down to the multi-touch controls required to advance in the third chapter. But while the game is pretty to look at and fun to play, it's a showcase -- like Google's Cirque du Soleil experimentRead more

Microsoft buys Perceptive Pixel, maker of large touch displays

Microsoft has acquired Perceptive Pixel, a company specializing in large multitouch displays.

Perceptive Pixel made a name for itself in 2008 during the U.S. presidential election after several networks used its technology to power their large touch-displays. (Remember CNN's "Magic Wall?") Since then, the company has largely been operating under the radar and improving its technologies. This year, it announced the first-ever simultaneous pen and touch technology for its hardware.

Perceptive Pixel's hardware page currently lists 27-, 55-, and 82-inch LCDs on its Web site.

Although Microsoft didn't say for sure what it has … Read more

Apple coughing up $5 million to settle patent infringement suit

Apple will spend $5 million to settle a suit filed by Elan Microelectronics over the alleged violation of a patent for multitouch technology, Elan said today.

As part of the settlement, the two companies have also received authorization to use each other's patents, according to Reuters.

In April 2009, Taiwan-based Elan filed its suit against Apple in U.S. District Court, accusing the iPhone maker of violating a 1998 Elan patent covering a method to detect the use of one or more fingers on a touchpad. Apple then countersued Elan for alleging infringing on two Apple touchpad-related patents.

Elan … Read more

MultiTaction turns walls into giant touch screens

MultiTouch, a Finland-based company known for its interactive display systems, has launched the MultiTaction Cell 55". The display is supposedly the "world's largest integrated multiuser LCD multitouch display," which means (way) more than one person can use it at a time.

These full-HD displays can be wall-mounted or embedded in custom furniture. As they are stackable and have a super-thin bezel, you can mount as many as 24 displays together--edge to edge--to form one large touch screen.

Powered by an Intel Core-i processor and Nvidia GPU, the MultiTaction Cell 55" panel also consists of 32 camera modules that are able to detect different users' hands via infrared (IR) technology. This is a vast improvement over the company's previous iteration, the MultiTaction Cell 46", which had only two IR cameras.

In Singapore--the only Asian stop on MultiTouch's global product demo tour--MultiTouch CEO Petri Martikainen demonstrated the intelligent multitouch display's features. We noted that it's generally responsive and renders graphics smoothly, due to its 200fps response. … Read more

Intel: Ultrabooks have to be 'cool'

At an Intel Capital conference this week an Intel executive spelled out how and why the market will transition to ultrabooks over the next few years. In a word, ultrabooks need to be "cool."

Intel is driving the PC industry to ultrabooks with a $300 million ultrabook fund--principally for hardware development--and a second fund announced this week, the $100 million AppUpSM Fund, targeted at applications for future ultrabooks.

Erik Reid, the general manager of the Mobile Platforms Division at Intel's PC Client Group, detailed Intel's thinking in a session at the Intel conference this week in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The coolness factor: "Users want something that's cool," said Reid. Intel research shows that when people see an ultrabook they think that "it must be better engineered because it's thin. It's harder to make a thin device than a thick device. It's more forward-looking." … Read more

Apple denied trademark for 'Multi-Touch' in the U.S.

Apple's effort to trademark the term "Multi-Touch" in the United States has been denied.

MacRumors posts the decision of the United States Patent and Trademark Office dated from last week, wherein the governing body denied Apple's application, saying that the term is merely descriptive of how people interact with its products.

"Thus, from the foregoing, we find that 'multi-touch' not only identifies the technology, but also describes how a user of the goods operates the device," the filing from the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reads. "Based on the evidence discussed … Read more