Online retailer Inc has bought a New York technology company that provides touch-screen technology that could bolster its Kindle electronic reader, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a person briefed on the deal.

The staff of Touchco, which was incubated at New York University's Media Research Lab, will be folded into Amazon's Kindle hardware division in California, the Times' source said. The acquisition is an apparent move by Amazon to beef up its Kindle electronic reader's capabilities as the e-books war heats up with the arrival of Apple Inc's iPad device in stores in late March. Touchco's technology allows for unlimited and simultaneous touch inputs, which would greatly enhance devices such as e-readers, and is inexpensive, according to a post on the New York Times' Bits Blog in December. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Touchco's co-founders could not be immediately reached. Touchco's website states that as of January 2010, the company had ceased to do business.

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