AirBar brings touch control to existing PCs

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The AirBar mounts below the screen of a PC, via a magnetic strip(Credit: Neonode)

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Having a touchscreen on your PC could certainly be handy at times, but perhaps not enough so to bother replacing your whole computer with a new one. Well, that's where Neonode's AirBar comes in. It's a slim module that magnetically attaches below the screen of an existing PC that's running Windows or Chrome, instantly providing it with touch functionality.

According to the company, users don't need to load drivers, perform a calibration or jump through any other hoops in order to get AirBar to work. They just stick it on their PC, plug it into a USB port, and it starts functioning. Users then proceed to pinch, swipe, zoom and scroll to their heart's content.

It currently only works with Apple computers to a limited extent.

Not many details have been provided on how it functions, other than that it emits an "invisible light field" across the screen, which detects any disturbances made within it. Known as zForce AIR technology, it responds not just to bare fingertips but also to objects such as styluses, brushes and gloved fingers.

All in all, it sounds not unlike a simplified version of Continental's "infrared curtain" technology.

The initial 15.6-inch version of AirBar is set to debut next month at CES, and should be released sometime in the first half of 2016. It can be pre-ordered now, for US$49. Potential buyers might also want to check out the DuoPad, which offers a different take on adding touch functionality to existing computers.

You can see AirBar in use, in the following video.

Source: AirBar

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