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'AirBar' Accessory That Gives 13-Inch MacBook Air a Touchscreen is Now Available

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Apr 12, 2001
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Neonode today announced that AirBar for the 13-inch MacBook Air is now available to purchase for $99 at select retailers in the United States, including Fry's Electronics and Evine.com. It'll also be available online through Amazon, Best Buy, and Staples, but it doesn't appear to be in stock on those websites yet.


AirBar, a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree, is a thin aluminum bar that magnetically attaches below the 13-inch MacBook Air's display, connects to a USB port, and transforms the notebook into a touchscreen device.

AirBar projects an invisible light field on the surface of the MacBook Air's display. When a finger, stylus, brush, or other object breaks the light, users are able to interact with the screen without actually touching it, including gestures such as tap-to-select, swiping, scrolling, and pinch-to-zoom.


Neonode said AirBar requires 17mm of free space below the display, so it won't fit any MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, or 11-inch MacBook Air.

AirBar is a plug-and-play sensor that "instantly activates" upon being plugged into any USB port on the right side of the 13-inch MacBook Air. Neonode also offers multi-touch software as a one-time installation to enable additional gestures.

AirBar is also available for select Windows laptops with displays sized 13.3 inches, 14 inches, and 15.6 inches.

Article Link: 'AirBar' Accessory That Gives 13-Inch MacBook Air a Touchscreen is Now Available
 
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JosephAW

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2012
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I'm surprised no one has figured out how to do this with the built in camera. Maybe with an little mirror attachment.
 
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jblagden

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2013
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There was a device like this called the Leap a few years ago, but it didn't really take off. The implementation of this one is much better, as it does not allow the sensor to move. The leap probably needed to be recalibrated every time it was moved.
 
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Mobster1983

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
635
456
Great concept, if extremely limited in execution. Not for me, as I have no want for fingerprints on my screen (Yes, I know you don't NEED to touch the screen) and think a touch screen on a laptop is just not worth the effort.
 

Erdbeertorte

Suspended
May 20, 2015
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In all seriousness though, awesome piece of tech. I'd love to see this thing make its way to the rest of the MacBook lineup. More input options are never a bad thing!

Yes seems really great. I sometimes accidentally touch my MacBook's screen and am dissappointed nothing happens.

No-one is forcing the complainers to purchase anything like that. It's better than nothing for the ones who could have a some use of it.
 

DanielDD

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2013
495
4,138
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The Mac needs an adult!

In all seriousness though, awesome piece of tech. I'd love to see this thing make its way to the rest of the MacBook lineup. More input options are never a bad thing!

They are if they do not offer any advantage to existing input options and come with a series of drawbacks (more expensive, drain battery life, added bulk to the device)
 

Pezboy

macrumors member
Nov 23, 2015
62
120
This is an outstanding piece of technology that I am so impressed by (if it works as advertised) that being said, I don’t see any point in it. macOS is not designed to utilize touch (I don’t think it should, but that’s a different discussion), so this will never feel like it should. If you feel that you need a touch screen so badly just get a windows computer, don’t hinder your exceptional user experience by getting this... but once again, super amazing tech.
 

bjet767

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2010
967
313
It would be nice if Apple just built the touchscreen into the laptop, but I expect that the reason Apple hasn't done that is because they're worried that doing so might cannibalize the iPad.

It would also validate what Microsoft has done with the Surface and Windows; something that would cause Steve Jobs to rise from the gates of..., ok roll over in his grave. :mad:
 

dazzer21-2

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2005
280
413
Am I just being silly or is the hand in the demo not throwing shadows onto the actual screen, especially on the drawing bit at the end? Somehow all looks a little bit fake to me...
 

TechViking

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2009
180
8
This is absolutely useless. When will people learn that touch screen laptops don't work unless you are able to detach the screen in which case it's just a tablet...

Best usage scenario for a touchscreen laptop is when laying down on a sofa or in bed with the laptop on your chest. Surfing the web on a laptop is then a much better experience than using the touchpad and keyboard only.
 
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jblagden

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2013
1,157
639
This is an outstanding piece of technology that I am so impressed by (if it works as advertised) that being said, I don’t see any point in it. macOS is not designed to utilize touch (I don’t think it should, but that’s a different discussion), so this will never feel like it should. If you feel that you need a touch screen so badly just get a windows computer, don’t hinder your exceptional user experience by getting this... but once again, super amazing tech.
Linux can also handle touchscreens.
 
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