CES 2017: 'AirBar' Gives MacBook Air Touchscreen Gestures Through Light-Sensing Technology

by

After originally launching for PC laptops, Neonode has now announced the launch of its "AirBar" dongle for the 13-inch MacBook Air. AirBar is a magnetically-attached strip that connects to the MacBook via USB-A and allows users to interact with Apple's laptop through gestures and controls that mimic touchscreen-enabled computers.

Users don't have to download or install additional software to use the AirBar -- Neonode said that the device "instantly activates" when plugged into the MacBook. With the company's patented "zForce AIR technology," AirBar emits an invisible array of lights over the MacBook's screen, which senses touch and movement from fingers, gloves, and even paintbrushes. With it, users can gesture in front of the MacBook Air's screen to swipe, scroll, and pinch and zoom.

“We believe the community of devoted MacBook Air users will welcome this new product, as AirBar for MacBook Air will surely enhance the user-experience of an already great product,” said Remo Behdasht, Senior Vice President of AirBar Devices at Neonode. “Our goal for AirBar continues to be expanding its application to more devices, across even more markets.”

Because of the required bezel space below the MacBook screen (17mm specifically) and the need for USB-A, Neonode said that "at this point" AirBar is only being sold for the 13-inch MacBook Air.

AirBar for MacBook Air will come in brushed aluminum and cost $99 on Amazon when it launches sometime in early March. Pre-order notifications can be set up on Neonode's website. Currently, AirBar for 15.6-inch PC laptops costs $69, and the company plans to launch a new 14-inch PC version alongside the MacBook Air-compatible device.

Top Rated Comments

gccumber Avatar
51 months ago
I can't imagine a scenario where using this makes more sense than using a mouse. Also, USB? How about BT? Wired "air bar" seems like a silly purchase. Then again maybe I'm old and curmudgeony.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nick42983 Avatar
51 months ago
Basically moving trackpad gestures onto the screen, further out of reach, while blocking a USB port. Useless.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mixel Avatar
51 months ago

Must be useful to people who do art using computer.

I doubt it sadly. :( Artists tend to use accurate pressure sensitive styluses and graphics tablets like Wacoms.. Or even the iPad Pro + :apple:pencil. This is just a floaty faux multitouch, which doesn't really have the detail needed to beat even a cheap USB graphics tablet.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dan9700 Avatar
51 months ago
Macbook pro 15 2016 please
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ILikeAllOS Avatar
51 months ago
Hmm... so they demonstrate their product by pinching to zoom into an image when there's already a Macbook trackpad right in front of them? :rolleyes:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emailnotebox Avatar
51 months ago
Must be useful to people who do art using computer.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
MacBooks black friday

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Mac and MacBook Deals

Thursday November 26, 2020 8:29 pm PST by
For Black Friday 2020, many retailers have solid deals on a variety of Macs. Apple's new M1 Macs are ones everyone wants right now, but because they're so new, deals on them are fairly sparse, although we are seeing some modest discounts. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps...
Top Stories 38 Feature

Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

Saturday November 28, 2020 6:00 am PST by
With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals. That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on...
General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Apple Black Friday 2020: Our Top Picks

Friday November 27, 2020 6:16 am PST by
Black Friday shopping has officially kicked off across the United States, and we've been collecting the best deals for Apple's iPads, Macs, AirPods, the HomePod, Apple Watch, and more in separate articles. In order to further streamline your Black Friday shopping this year, we've put together this quick list of our top picks of the overall best Apple-related bargains happening today. Note:...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...