One of the key barriers that separates the Apple MacBook from the iPad could be set to become a thing of the past, with a new accessory that allows users to turn an ordinary laptop display into a touch sensitive one.
The AirBar, as it’s called, is being built by Swedish company Neonode and is set to roll out to customers who pre-order within the next few weeks.
According to Neonode, “AirBar comes in the form of a sleek bar that attaches to the bottom of a display with magnets and connects instantly to the laptop through the USB port. AirBar projects a field of invisible light across the laptop screen, and knows exactly where your finger touches the screen.”
Once setup, the add-on brings touch and gesture controls to any compatible display.
It’s a cool idea and, given Apple’s ongoing reluctance to roll a touch display into the MacBook, one that will likely strike a chord with some users.
The only real limitation here is sizing. The Windows 10 version of the AirBar comes in 13.3, 14 and 15.6-inch models. Meanwhile, Mac users are restricted to the 13.3-inch MacBook Air model. At least for now.
Neonode say that the accessories requires no software installation for use with Windows 10 devices but will require a small firmware update for Mac owners.
Pricing for the AirBar starts at $79 plus shipping. Further information can be found on the AirBar website.