Founded in 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden, Neonode was supposed to be the Apple of the wireless industry. In 2004, years before the release of the iPhone, Neonode's N1 offered an incredibly precise infrared grid touchscreen interface. The handset responded to sweeping gestures and light taps, but required no pressure or stylus.
However, the company struggled to find markets for the N1, and due to anemic user and operator demand, the phone quietly fell by the wayside.
In 2007, Neonode merged with IP SAN software developer SBE, which put Neonode shares on Nasdaq. Going public wasn't a huge win for the handset maker, but it did give the company enough stability to release the N2, the company's follow-up effort to its N1. The N2 featured a lighter design and additional features including Bluetooth.
But the N2 also didn't catch on either, and Neonode quickly ran out of cash. The company in 2008 filed a petition for bankruptcy in Sweden.