The breaking news that Steve Jobs of Apple is taking a medical leave of absence for several months makes the news from earlier this week of Microsoft investing in Israel- and Texas-based N-Trig gets even more interesting.
Earlier this week, N-Trig, the sole provider of DuoSense™ technology which combines pen, touch and multi-touch into one device, announced it successfully raised $24 million in its latest round of funding for the purpose of funding ongoing strategic partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop multi-touch notebooks that will reach a wider market.
Investors in the round included Canaan Partners, Evergreen Venture Partners, Aurum Ventures and Challenger Ltd. In addition to these venture capital firms, none other than Microsoft Corp. also invested. The investment comes as part of its efforts to build more pen and touch applications into its next-generation Windows 7 operating system and as part of its racing Apple to multi-touch.
To date, N-Trig’s DuoSense Technology is already used in Dell’s Latitude XT and Hewlett-Packard’s TouchSmart x2 and the company announced last week with CyberLink Corporation that they are developing multi-touch-enabled solutions for PCs worldwide together to increase that amount. Though it’s unlikely, it will be interesting if Apple’s plans will be in any way hindered while Jobs is away.
N-Trig was founded by Dr. Meir Morag in 1999 after he previously co-founded e-Sim. The company is lead by CEO Amihai Ben-David and has raised some raised some $73 million while growing to over 100 employees over the years. Last year, “Globes” rated N-trig as one of Israel’s most promising start-up companies.
How does multitouch technology work? Lenny Engelhardt, VP of Business Development at N-Trig explains in this video: