Neonode today announced that AirBar for the 13-inch MacBook Air is now available to purchase for $99 at select retailers in the United States, including Fry's Electronics and Evine.com. It'll also be available online through Amazon, Best Buy, and Staples, but it doesn't appear to be in stock on those websites yet.
AirBar, a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree, is a thin aluminum bar that magnetically attaches below the 13-inch MacBook Air's display, connects to a USB port, and transforms the notebook into a touchscreen device.
AirBar projects an invisible light field on the surface of the MacBook Air's display. When a finger, stylus, brush, or other object breaks the light, users are able to interact with the screen without actually touching it, including gestures such as tap-to-select, swiping, scrolling, and pinch-to-zoom.
Neonode said AirBar requires 17mm of free space below the display, so it won't fit any MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, or 11-inch MacBook Air.
AirBar is a plug-and-play sensor that "instantly activates" upon being plugged into any USB port on the right side of the 13-inch MacBook Air. Neonode also offers multi-touch software as a one-time installation to enable additional gestures.
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.