updated 08:00 pm EDT, Fri October 28, 2011
Light-based method said to be superior
Apple and Samsung are among the companies expected to bid on the manufacturing assets and patent portfolio of RPO, a California-based company that had developed Digital Waveguide Touch technology, an allegedly superior touch option that eliminates the need for a touch-sensitive layer as is currently used for touchscreens. Both companies have reasons to be interested in controlling the portfolio, reports patent litigation firm iRunway.
RPO's solution captures input from fingers or styluses via projected beams of light that the user can't see. It's said to be more energy-efficient, and allows screens to be brighter with better contrast. The company has gone bankrupt and the auction for its IP portfolio is set for November 3rd.
Apple is expected to be a top contender for the technology, despite having recently patented an alternative method that also accomplishes the goal of removing the touch overlay. Avoiding the overlay would allow the company to fully show off its Retina display.
Samsung would of course like the technology as well, both for aiding their ability to compete against Apple and also to use as a legal shield -- an interest Apple would have as well, just to keep the technology out of the hands of rivals. [via iRunway]