Motorola Invests in Touchscreen Technology Specialist
Wireless communications company Motorola, Inc. announced the company's strategic venture capital arm, Motorola Ventures, made an investment in Sensitive Object, a specialist in multitouch anywhere platforms and natural user interface (NUI). Sensitive Object's Anywhere MultiTouch platform extends tactilization to any surface of a device allowing for virtual controls and next generation user-interfaces.
The company was created in October 2003 with a patent-protected
technology capable of "tactilizing" any surface. This software technology
leverages acoustics to analyze sound waves departing from the point of a touch
to transform any product into a touch device. Sensitive Object's ReverSys
software can be deployed in any product benefiting from "touch-based" user
interfaces, including touch screen and touch control in various markets such as
mobile devices. Sensitive Object is a spin-off from the French Science
National Research Centre (CNRS) and received funding from venture capital firm
Sofinnova Partners in August 2004. The company has a workforce of more than 20
engineers and has operations in Paris and Singapore.
"Natural user interface (NUI) and in particular interacting
with a device through touch is an area of rapid development and great
excitement," said Reese Schroeder, managing director, Motorola Ventures.
"Sensitive Object provides an innovative and unique approach allowing new ways
of interaction. We're most excited to be involved in their growth and success."
The Windows 7 compliant technology also offers handwriting
recognition and palm rejection, It can be employed on various materials such as
glass, aluminum and plastics and relies on two small piezoelectric sensors, a
controller and some software. The technology was discovered through the study
of a process known as Time Reversal Mirror, which can be used to precisely
identify the source of sound waves. This association is managed by proprietary
signal processing algorithms combined with software: a touch at a precise place
generates a precise action. A simple glass panel equipped with two
piezoelectric sensors is used to detect sound waves and to determine the
acoustic signature. If the signature is recognized, the action is operated, if
not, nothing happens.
"We are excited to be working closely with the Motorola
team. Motorola is a perfect partner for our disruptive touch solution
considering Motorola's innovative and successful history with mobile phones,"
said Herv??Â« Martin, CEO of Sensitive Object.
Bruno Thuillier, the company's CTO, explained the company's products are currently used in various markets, such as home automation, interactive point of sale or information desks and gaming. "We're now addressing the handheld and consumer markets with new innovative products that will definitely change the way people interact with their devices," he said. "Anywhere MultiTouch may apply to mobile phones, netbooks, laptops, PCs, portable games terminals, and many others."