The content from the Website of gesture recognition technology company FingerWorks, known for its TouchStream multitouch keyboard and for being acquired by Apple in 2005, has been removed, leading to speculation that the company's technology will be featured in Apple's rumored tablet device. The development was first noticed by the Apple blog MacRumors, which also noted Fingerworks founder Wayne Westerman authored several multitouch patents applications from Apple.
Fingerworks' previous product output included the TouchStream LP, a full-sized, folding split keyboard, with a flat membrane and zero-force keys, the TouchStream Mini, a one-hand keyboard and mouse keypad, the iGesture Pad, a one-hand gesture pad and the iGesture Retro, a one-hand gesture pad embedded into a full-size Microsoft keyboard. When attempting to reach the Fingerworks Web site, users are redirected to Delaware.net, a Web design and hosting site.
Apple fanatics and tech industry analysts alike have been wrapped up in a whirlwind of rumors and speculation surrounding the tablet device, which some believe will be unveiled at a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco sometime between Jan. 25 and 27. The tablet, which hasn't been officially named yet, is likely to measure about 10 inches and offer Wi-Fi connectivity. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported the device would ship in March, according to sources briefed by Apple.
On Monday, St??Â«phane Richard, deputy CEO of France Telecom, which owns French telecommunications carrier Orange, caused a furor in the tech media world by essentially confirming the existence of an Apple tablet device during an interview with PaidContent:UK. The company later released a statement claiming the quotes were "taken out of context, then interpreted in English."
However, Richard is not the first high-profile executive prone to (alleged) loose lips-- a former Google China executive reportedly wrote in his blog that Apple expects to sell 10 million tablet PCs in its first year out. Lee Kai-fu, former president of Google Inc. Greater China, claimed on his blog that Apple will release the device in January, for less than $1,000 and that it will feature a 10.1-inch multitouch screen. Other recent reports, including a research note by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who said there is a 75 percent likelihood that Apple will have an event in January and a 50 percent chance that it would be held to launch the Apple Tablet.
Earlier this year, Munster issued a report suggesting that the tablet would feature a 7- to 10-inch screen and retail for between $500 and $700, effectively filling a strategic gap for Apple between the iPod Touch and its low-end Mac desktops. Munster wrote, "We believe an Apple tablet would be priced 30 to 50 percent below the $999 MacBook, and would offer best-in-class Web, e-mail and media software. In other words, we believe Apple's tablet would compete well in the netbook category even though it would not be a netbook."