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When I bought my newest laptop it wasn’t really a planned purchase so I didn’t have time to do as much research as I would normally. Not that I ended up with a bad one (I bought another HP because I like them), but I find myself wondering if not getting a touchscreen to save a few bucks was a dumb decision. I certainly don’t want fingers all over my laptop screen all the time (lord knows it’s hard enough to keep clean as it is), but some things are just easier to do with a fingertip than a cursor.

NeoNode has developed AirBar, and it honestly looks like a darn fine compromise for someone like me. AirBar is a thin stick that plugs into any USB port, and then lives at the bottom of your laptop’s screen. From there, it’s almost magic. AirBar projects an invisible field of light onto your screen, which allows you to “touch” your laptop’s screen like you would any other touch-enabled laptop to do stuff. The beauty is, since all your fingers have to do is interrupt the projected light, you don’t actually have to touch the screen, thus saving it from your potentially dirty fingerprints. You don’t even have to use your fingers… that pen in your hand will do nicely, and no worries about accidentally scratching or writing on your screen.

AirBar Puts Control at Your Fingertips

AirBar is specifically designed for use with Windows 8 and 10, as well as ChromeOS, but it does have limited ability to function with OSX. Pretty sure you’re out of luck if you’re using any kind of Linux, but you might be able to customize something to make it work. Another limitation is that it only works with 15.6 inch laptop screens. That works for me, since I went smaller with this one, but it would have been a hard limit for my last one.

If you’d like to give AirBar a try, you can pre-order now for just $49.00 US. NeoNode is expecting to show AirBar at CES in January, with general release scheduled for “the first half of 2016”. I’ll be pre-ordering mine as soon as I complete this post. I’ve spent fifty bucks on stupider things, and AirBar seems like it would actually be useful! And also easy to carry… It’s small, so slipping it into my bag along with everything else doesn’t seem like a big deal.


Source: Oh Gizmo

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