Nokia, Samsung invest in touchscreen technology firm

Nokia and Samsung have both invested in Swype, a touchscreen user interface startup that has large ambitions for the touchscreen market. The two handset makers' investment arms, Nokia Growth Partners and Samsung Ventures, along with returning investor Benaroya Capital, pumped $5.6 million of Series B financing into the Seattle-based company.

The company said it would use the new funding to push its technology into more mobile phones and eventually other touch and remote screen devices. The company's technology is currently on one phone, the Samsung Omnia II, offered by Verizon Wireless. Both Samsung and Nokia have made it clear they intend to have more touchscreen devices in their lineups going forward; Samsung has even designed an entire user interface, TouchWiz, geared toward touchscreen phones.

Swype's user interface input technology allows users to type text on virtual keyboards by tracing the letters they want without lifting their finger off the keyboard. The company's co-founder and CTO, Cliff Kushler, is a co-inventor of the T9 predictive text-input software, which is widely used on phones with the standard 12-key keypad.

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