When you hear the word “Kindle,” most people think of the eBook reader from Amazon. With its E Ink display, buttons to turn pages, and no back light. That is what a Kindle is, and it does those things very well; just ask anyone who owns one. However, this is going to change.

Yesterday, 9to5Mac reported that Amazon has purchased a company called Touchco.  They will be moving the six man team form New York to Cupertino, California.  They will be working in the Kindle Hardware Division.  In an attempt to stay competitive with the likes of Apple’s iPad, Amazon is apparently switching from the E Ink screens to a full color LCD screen.  This new screen will employ a technology called interpolating force-sensitive resistance.  Below is a description of the technology:

“Touchco’s technology uses resistors that are sensitive to different levels of pressure. It has said its screens can distinguish between the touch of a finger and the pressure of a pen or similar pointing device. The company had designed its technology to work well with full-color LCD screens, similar to those used in the iPad and Hewlett-Packard’s coming line of tablet PCs. The technology could allow Amazon to introduce a full-color touch-screen Kindle, raising the question of whether the device’s current displays, which are made by a company called E Ink will play a role in the next round of reading devices.”

So, that raises this question:  Is Amazon going to remove the E Ink screens from their Kindles, or will they somehow incorporate them? This may be a risky move for Amazon because they’re changing the main part of the Kindle to compete with the iPad.  For the hardcore eBook users that prefer the E Ink screen over a color LCD screen, they might think twice about purchasing a new Kindle. Maybe it might just have the opposite effect, though. When people see how reading is on Apple’s iPad, they might change their minds.

In any event, Amazon is making a bold move, and I applaud them for this.  Staying competitive and on the cutting edge is always risky. Ask Apple. They know this all to well.  For the most part, this has been very fruitful for Apple. No pun intended.

Photo Credit: The New York Times

[via @9t05Mac]