|Fate||Purchased by Apple Inc.|
|Headquarters||Newark, Delaware, United States|
FingerWorks was a gesture recognition company based in the United States, known mainly for its TouchStream multi-touch keyboard. Founded by John Elias and Wayne Westerman of the University of Delaware in 1998, it produced a line of multi-touch products including the iGesture Pad and the TouchStream keyboard, which were particularly helpful for people suffering from RSI and other medical conditions. The keyboards became the basis for the iPhone's touchscreen when the company's assets were acquired by Apple Inc. in early 2005.
Westerman was working on a dissertation on chord-based manipulation with a multi-touch surface while a doctoral student at the University of Delaware. He and Elias, a professor in his department, started FingerWorks while he was finishing his dissertation, which formed the basis for some of the company's products. Westerman developed repetitive stress problems while finishing his dissertation, which inspired active focus on low-impact inputs.
The company's products remained a high-end niche, and something of a curiosity, despite good press and industry awards. In early 2005, FingerWorks went through a rocky period, and stopped shipping new products or responding actively to support requests. While they updated their support forums between April and June with new information, outside reports indicated that they had been acquired by a major technology company. This company turned out to be Apple, which acquired the company's patents and other intellectual property along with Elias and Westerman. The technology was used to create the Apple iPhone which launched in 2007.
In June 2005, FingerWorks officially announced they were no longer in business. The founders continued to file and process patents for their work through late 2007. As of August 2008 they still filed patents for Apple, Inc.