FlatFrog Laboratories yesterday received a €20 million funding round led by Intel Capital, with the strong backing by Invus. Intel Capital joins the existing investors Invus and Sunstone Capital. Flatfrog creates touch screen technology that recognizes touches using an optical solution.
The technology they’re using is pretty cool. By using algorithms to track light travelling inside the cover glass of a screen, FlatFrog’s Planar Scatter Detection technology provides instant detection of up to hundreds of simultaneous touches and drags.
By using optics instead of the traditional capacitive electronic fields used in the vast majority of today’s high-end touch-enabled mobile devices FlatFrog’s PSD is able to detect not only input from bare fingers, but also from gloved fingers, passive styli and many other objects such as pencil erasers.
The solution has a thin form factor, so it’s easy to mount in any environment. It recognizes up to 40 simultaneous touches in screen sizes from five inches to 100+ inches.
“Creating a perfect touch experience at very low price-points, in a way that is easy to manufacture and that can scale from small to very large sizes, is extremely complicated”, says Christer Fahraeus, CEO and co-founder at FlatFrog. “We literally have had best-in-class scientists working for years on our algorithms, opto-electronics and opto-mechanics. This new financing round will take us to a new level. We’re very excited to have Intel Capital join the FlatFrog investor base.”
Flatfrog was founded in 2007 by serial entrepreneurs Ola Wassvik and Christer
Fahraeus. The company holds more than 60 patent families in optical wave-guide touch technology. Recently, FlatFrog began shipping the first product based on its technology, the 32″ FlatFrog Multitouch 3200, which they claim is the slimmest high-performance 32″ multi-touch screen in the market.
A €20 million funding round isn’t any joke, so it will be interesting to see where FlatFrog’s technology ends up.