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Posted: 30 Aug 2005, 06:25
by kablooie
Apple will announce a new revolutionary mystery product on Wed Sept. 7.

It just occurred to me that this might be something using the fingerworks technology.


Apple Mystery Product?

Posted: 30 Aug 2005, 07:29
by Rqyteqto
What's your source?

Posted: 30 Aug 2005, 13:07
by ken gray
i think the "mystery product" will be a new line of ipods.

Posted: 30 Aug 2005, 16:03
by kablooie
Yeah, I know. Probably just an ipod upgrade but Steve Jobs does sometimes pull out surprises. Just wishful thinking on my part I guess.

My source is: ... 44112.html

Posted: 30 Aug 2005, 16:15
by ken gray
the longer this takes, the more my money (wan) is on a Chinese company.

apple would have done something by now and they dont have a reason to keep it quiet in the first place.

Posted: 01 Sep 2005, 02:08
by mrpeanut
It was Apple that bought Fingerworks. Read post #7 in this thread:

Though it wasn't me that posted it, I also went to UD, and I can confirm this.

Hey, thanks!

Posted: 01 Sep 2005, 02:47
by goldfish
Wow! Thanks for the heads up.

This seems to be confirmed at link below: ... adid=52101

I do hope the technology is used for more than laptop touchpads in the not-so-distant future. I would really hope to have the opportunity to buy products similar to those previously offered if my mild tendonitis gets any worse.

Posted: 01 Sep 2005, 04:56
by Rqyteqto
I don't see what that confirms other than Apple-heads are mostly mindless devotees.

In fact, the first post states Apple had to get patents on their new scrolling trackpad technology which certainly wouldn't be necessary if they had bought FingerWorks.

I really wish people would provide more than rumor or simply quote posts that provide rumors.

Who or whatever's bought out FingerWorks is obviously not in a hurry and seemingly doesn't want the old products around. I really wonder about why FingerWorks wants to buy back old non-working boards.

In any case, I doubt we will ever see TS products again or if we do, the previously high prices will seem ridiculously low.

Posted: 01 Sep 2005, 06:48
by chumpboy
VaderPi wrote:
Beyond that, why the secrecy thing, what does it accomplish? Not withstanding they had a perfect opportunity to introduce the new keyboards and didn't. Like I said, those were ready to go as is. And, frankly, there's nothing to gain for them to cease production of the TS and other boards.
And what would MERL gain by stopping production. The points that you raise really do not make any sense regardless of who bought them, unless the goal was to get the FingerWorks products off the market.
Don't forget...another goal of the acquirer would also be to conserve cash or not continue to operate a unprofitable business unit.

If MERL primarily acquired them for their patents/intellectual capital and FingerWorks as a company wasn't profitable, than it would make a lot of sense to pull the products from the market. As much as I hate to admit it, the FingerWorks products didn't make it to mainstream adoption, nor did they make a huge dent in a niche market (i.e., say graphic designers or 3D modellers or something like that). That being the case I'd be suprised if continuing to sell the FingerWorks products would've been profitable.

Posted: 01 Sep 2005, 20:26
by Rqyteqto
You are quite right in that assessment, regardless of who bought or ended up with FingerWorks.

It looks as if the boards were being subsidized, either because they never reached efficient production levels or the materials were just too expensive at this point in time. Sill, if it was a big boy, what's a $M or so over a couple of years for the good will of the community? That would be desireable if there was an intent to reoffer the boards commercially in the near future.

I'm sad to say and I hope I am wrong but I believe FingerWorks and TouchStream are gone and we aren't going to see anything like them for quite a while, if ever.

Posted: 02 Sep 2005, 06:50
by mrpeanut
It was definitely Apple that bought Fingerworks. It was pretty much common knowledge in the ECE department at the University of Delaware that Profs. Elias and Westerman are now working for Apple. Prof. Westerman was not a tenure-track professor so he is probably going to be there for awhile, but Prof. Elias (already a full professor) is taking an extended 2 year sabbatical at Apple. Believe whatever you want, but I know this for a fact.

Posted: 02 Sep 2005, 20:09
by VaderPi
I have sent AppleInsider an email, asking them if they are able to confirm this. I will let you know what I find out.

Posted: 02 Sep 2005, 21:37
by nomaded
My source has confirmed to me that Westerman now is employed by Apple Computer.

Guess I should go update that post of mine.

Posted: 03 Sep 2005, 00:42
by Rqyteqto
Well, if it is Apple, I can at least hope they will do a good job of it. If anyone can, Apple can. My only concern is the results being so bound to previous Apple product lines that non-Apple users will be excluded. Then again, Apple and the rest of the industry as weel are slowly merging into a single amorphous mass so perhaps that won't be a problem.

Posted: 04 Sep 2005, 11:17
by rolfwind
I have great hopes that Sept 7 will see announcement of something related to this technology - but something tells me it's perhaps an iPod type technology and that anything related to fingerworks might be shooed in a bit more quietly or related strictly to the trackpad of their notebooks. I hope my instinct is wrong.

I like Apple and in fact have gotten my mom a Powerbook and was so impressed with OS X, got one for my Dad as well. It probably paid off just because when I visit, I'm not asked to do time-consuming computer clean-up anymore, least of all run the spybot/adaware/MS-antispyware/avg-antivirus combination.

I just hope when and if Apple comes out with something (keyboard, keyboard, keyboard!), they remember how compatible the originals were, not just with Windows/Mac but also Linux and BeOS and others - and thats what's also made the originals so great.

Posted: 05 Sep 2005, 04:28
by chumpboy
mrpeanut wrote:It was definitely Apple that bought Fingerworks. It was pretty much common knowledge in the ECE department at the University of Delaware that Profs. Elias and Westerman are now working for Apple. Prof. Westerman was not a tenure-track professor so he is probably going to be there for awhile, but Prof. Elias (already a full professor) is taking an extended 2 year sabbatical at Apple. Believe whatever you want, but I know this for a fact.
Oh WOW!!! Now that's some good juicy stuff. If this is true then that seems very promising.

Plus, when you think of the MERL scenario, a better scenario than acquisition for them would have been just to set up a liscensing agreement with FingerWorks. Acquisition would've been overkill.

Knowing Apple, they like to focus on niche markets first and use the TS technology to fortify some market they already dominate. Take for example the student market, or the graphic design market. Apples success lies on just as much strategic and market savvy as it does on technical excellence and design excellence.

FingerWorks' demise was most likely a marketing failure, not a technical one, because obviously their products. They just couldn't achieve market penetration in a sizable enough market to achieve profitability.

But...If there's any company that can take a product and make it a market's Apple! My guess is that they're going to use it as a marketing tool strengthen their dominance in the graphic design market, a market where I'm going to guess they've been loosing some market share. I wonder how Waacom feels about this because their drawing tablets have been a big part of that strategy as well.

Maybe they could use it also as a way to appeal to programmers since that was one niche market that really seemed to adopt the FingerWorks products. Apple's been gaining some momentum with programmers since Mac OS is basically FreeBSD on steroids (badly needed steroids, at that).

Now the problem is, what'll happen to us poor programmers stuck on Windoze boxes (like me) addicted to TouchStreams? I guess we'll have to start saving up for a new Mac development workstation. :wink:

Posted: 06 Sep 2005, 00:34
by Rqyteqto
Chumpboy, I should not concern yourself much.

Given the way things are trending, its likely Apple will become a trilogy: an R&D group, a software company and a hardware vendor for high quality computers (with Intel Inside) and peripherals (iPod, Apple Cinema, etc, and, hopefully, TouchStream). In the last category, it will probably make little difference what physical rig you have, just what software you are running, if even that.

In any case, the interface is already USB and I can't see any reason to change that, nor any alternative to change to other than perhaps FW which wouldn't seem to offer any advantage and even if it was changed to FW, there shouldn't be much problem adapting it to any physical rig nor even any common OS, including XP or the coming Vista.

Besides, to introdice a peripheral that couldn't switch hit would be foolish in indeed and Apple is not often given to foolishness.

Apple's big announcement day and no crumbs for us FWians

Posted: 08 Sep 2005, 00:50
by Rqyteqto
All the presents are unwrapped and I don't see anything for us. Not a TouchStream like feature to be had. Too bad. perhaps its too soon. Maybe next time around.

Posted: 08 Sep 2005, 17:28
by moof
Yes, but the iPod nano is pretty sweet!!