I guess N-Trig doesn’t get to be alone in the spotlight anymore. InPlay Technologies, makes of the FinePoint digitizers, have just announced an integrated active pen and multi-finger capacitive touch input system. That sounds like a very direct competitor to the N-Trig systems shipping in the Dell Latitude XT. Unlike the N-Trig, this still appears to be a two part solution – a capacitive touch solution combined with the Finepoint – but the press release is less than clear on that point. Either way, though, I don’t think users will care to much as long as the solution works well and gives them the experience they want. One thing that InPlay appears to be adding to the mix is that their FinePoint pens support tilt, something that isn’t currently supported on any Tablet PCs that I know of.
I’m excited to see a new entrant into what is obviously an emerging market. Given the price premium that Dell is attempting to charge on the Latitude XT, I have to think that the N-Trig solution is not cheap. Maybe with some competition the prices will get driven down a bit faster and we can see some more affordable capacitive touch systems.