January 4, 2016
Sweden-based Neonode recently unveiled AirBar, a $49 laptop accessory that attaches its magnetic sensor bar to a Chromebook or Windows laptop PC and connects via an available USB port. It then beams a light over the display to create a sort of touchscreen. AirBar’s use of light rather than a traditional, physical touchscreen allows users to interact with their displays in a variety of new ways, such as while wearing gloves or using small objects like a stylus or even chopsticks. Neonode is expected to debut its new accessory at CES in Las Vegas this week.
“Once it’s hooked up — Neonode says it’s plug and play, with no extra drivers necessary — the device casts a beam of light across your screen, and you can poke, pinch, zoom, swipe and scroll around with your hand the way you would on a touchscreen PC,” notes PCWorld.
AirBar is initially limited to 15.6-inch screens and only features limited functionality for OS X.
According to the product’s website, “AirBar projects an invisible light field on the surface of your display that makes it possible to ‘touch’ the screen and interact with Windows 8 and 10 gestures. This is all thanks to Neonode’s zForce AIR technology, which can be used for all sorts of cool stuff. The reason you can use anything to touch is that the light field reacts to any disturbance.”