Amazon buys colour display firm Liquavista
Amazon has bought from Samsung its manufacturing firm Liquavista, which specialises in brightly coloured, touchscreen mobile displays.
The Dutch company focuses on “electrowetting” technology, which it claims has the capacity to create bright images which work in all lighting conditions, while using less battery power. Since the display uses less power and requires fewer recharges, manufacturers can also make their devices thinner and lighter.
Amazon didn’t reveal how much it paid for the firm nor what it was planning to do with it, but the development follows rumours that the company is working on new hardware, including a 3D smartphone. It’s also thought to be working on a more conventional smartphone, a set-top box and a Roku-like audio streaming device.
Liquavista said that its display tech is particularly well-suited to multimedia devices like ebook readers, prompting speculation that a slimmer, lighter colour Kindle could be in the works. It added that its screens also suit mobile phones, GPS devices, portable media players and cameras.
Amazon also launched its digital currency, Amazon Coins, in the US. First announced in February, the currency allows Kindle Fire users to make app or in-app purchases.
The firm is giving $5 worth of the currency, or 500 Coins, to Kindle Fire owners this week and app developers will get the standard 70% cut of any purchases.
Although digital currencies have attracted attention in the wake of Bitcoin, Amazon Coins is limited to purchases on Amazon’s Appstore. The firm noted that it would be an easier way for developers to make money from their Kindle Fire apps, suggesting that the currency is just one attempting to lure them – and customers – away from rival app stores such as Apple and Google.