Plenty of laptops now come with built-in touchscreens, giving users another option in navigation and control. If you want to enjoy the same functionality, but aren’t quite ready to upgrade your computer just yet, you might want to check out the NeoNode AirBar.
A device that turns ordinary laptop screens into functional touchscreen displays, it lets you take advantage of the touchscreen support in modern desktop operating systems without having to purchase an entirely new machine. Even better, it does that at a plug-and-play capacity, so you just slip ot into a USB port and you’re good to go.
The NeoNode AirBar is a slim, bar-shaped device that’s designed to magnetically attach to the bezel directly under your laptop screen. Once plugged to an available USB port, it emits invisible light to the area in front of the display (since it’s indiscernible, it won’t affect the viewing experience), which it uses to track any movement or gestures you perform, translating it to the corresponding inputs for the OS to process. Since it uses light rather than an LCD digitizer to power the touchscreen interface, you’re not restricted to using your bare fingers to interact with the display, allowing you to wear gloves (yes, even robot hands) and use whatever semi-pointed object you have nearby.
The current version only works with 15.6-inch laptops, although they will expand on the offerings as soon as the initial product rolls out. It works on both Windows and Chrome OS, with OS X currently getting only limited functionality.
Slated for availability in the first half of 2016, the NeoNode AirBar is priced at $49.