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The AirBar can turn your PC into a touchscreen device for $49, use of dark magic unconfirmed

AirBar

This is the sort of stuff that would get you burned at the stake in the olden days. Or in 2015, banished to that column of links at the bottom of the article you just read, next to the woman whose 1 weird trick for white teeth has dentists baying for her blood and the stock photo of a man at his desk who earns more in a month than China’s GDP. Here’s a $49 USB device that will turn any PC or laptop display into a touchscreen device. Hmm.

TheNeonode AirBar is a sensor you hook up to your machine via a single USB connection and mount at the base of your display – it’s magnetised, so it just sticks there. Then a whole bunch of magic that I’m not really clear about happens, then apparently your screen can be used as a touchscreen device.

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Actually, the AirBar’s makers offer a little more explanation than that. It actually emits light across the surface of the monitor or laptop screen, and then reads interruptions to that light. It’s able to detect scrolling gestures, zoom pinching, and tapping to select items. It can also deal with gloves and long fingernails, Neonode say.

Quite how well this works in a practical sense is another question entirely – I have to say, I’m sceptical. It’s certainly difficult to imagine any useful gaming application, but in Windows at least, it might be fun to have a touchscreen PC for $49.

There’s a caveat at the moment, though: only 16-inch models are currently available, so you’re going to struggle if you’re rocking a 27-inch panel.

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