Computers

AirBar brings touch control to existing PCs

AirBar brings touch control to...
The AirBar mounts below the screen of a PC, via a magnetic strip
The AirBar mounts below the screen of a PC, via a magnetic strip
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The AirBar mounts below the screen of a PC, via a magnetic strip
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The AirBar mounts below the screen of a PC, via a magnetic strip
Users reportedly just stick the AirBar on their PC, plug it into a USB port, and it starts functioning
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Users reportedly just stick the AirBar on their PC, plug it into a USB port, and it starts functioning

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.

Users reportedly just stick the AirBar on their PC, plug it into a USB port, and it starts functioning
Users reportedly just stick the AirBar on their PC, plug it into a USB port, and it starts functioning

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

The AirBar™ sensor - Get touch on your new or existing PC

6 comments
xs400
Nice - I want one. I guess being at the right place at the right time is what matters most. In the 80s, someone came up with a thingy you could place under your monitor that would calculate the position of your finger on the screen using the forces on the sensors at the four corners of the device, never heard of it again.
olavn
Tablets with touch screens are really cheap, so it would be better to make a minimal tablet which could be connected as a computer terminal. This would be much more useful, as it could also be used with the small screenless computers.
DomainRider
Nice idea, but too short for my screen.
RichardJohnson
Most large monitors are not touch screen capable. Hence such a device for larger screen would seem very useful. I for one would like to know if and when it might be available for a 27" monitor. I'd buy it right now if it were available.
MD
Finger prints on high quality monitors, who wants that? A secondary touch tablet mirroring or extending the main monitor makes a little more sense.
Timelord
Macbook screens weren't designed with oleophobic coatings like iPhone and iPad screens do, so the screens would quickly become messy and hard to read. Of course, a simple solution would be to include a screen protector (preferably tempered glass) with such a coating.