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Return to: 2010 Feature Stories

CLIENT: STANTUM

Jan. 9, 2010 : PCMag.com

MULTITOUCH FIRM HAS NO FEAR OF APPLE

Multitouch Firm Has No Fear of Apple
Stantum lets you tap with ten fingers at once.

CES 2010LAS VEGAS—Wonder why the Google Nexus One doesn't have multitouch? Don't blame Apple, says multitouch firm Stantum.

Stantum, which is just starting to market its 10-finger multitouch technology to handheld and laptop makers, say it has "no legal fear from Apple" over using multitouch, and that nobody else should have, either.

"I have been unable to find anything from Apple that says they own the pinch gesture. Apple has done an amazing job scaring people away," said Jim Meador, Senior FAE Manager at Stantum.

Stantum has its own multitouch patents stretching back to 2004, smartphone makers told them they had no idea what to use multitouch for, said Francois Jeanneau, Stantum's business development director.

Admittedly, Stantum's multitouch is quite different from Apple's. For one thing, it uses resistive screens rather than Apple's capacitive touch screens. Resistive screens have gotten a bad rap because earlier models took a lot of effort to press. But the latest resistive screens are competitive with capacitive screens in responsiveness, as I found out when trying a Stantum technology demo.

Resistive screens also let you use styli, and let you detect pressure, like on a Wacom tablet, which opens up new applications for touch, Meador explained.

"We've been impressed by the level of interest in pressure," Meador said.

But Stantum could design capacitive touch devices, too, according to Meador.

Stantum showed off two applications for its multitouch technology: a large, slate-style device and a hacked T-Mobile G1 with its multitouch screen. I tried out a drawing program where I could actually draw five lines at once using five different fingers.

Consumers could start seeing devices with Stantum multitouch technology in 2011, the execs said.

Return to: 2010 Feature Stories