AirBar lets you upgrade your laptop to a touchscreen model with no mess, no fuss

Plus this is a touchscreen you can use with gloves or pretty much anything to hand

Want to upgrade your laptop from a standard display to a touchscreen? Sounds like an expensive and/or messy proposition? Perhaps not if you go the AirBar route…

AirBar is a new peripheral which will be shown off by Neonode at the Consumer Electronics Show come the start of next month.

Spotted by Geek.com, this gadget is simply a long, thin bar which you attach along the bottom bezel of your laptop's display (plugging it into a USB port for power).

The maker notes that it projects an “invisible light field” across your notebook's screen, which detects any touch gestures made, effectively converting any display into a touchscreen with an added bonus – you can wear gloves and still have touch control work just fine.

Indeed, you can be wearing huge great oven gloves while cooking and still swipe your way through a recipe on-screen (although be warned – we're guessing the invisible light field doesn't protect your display from being splattered with pasta sauce). Or you can use chopsticks, a paintbrush, and so on...

At any rate, this is certainly a nifty idea for those with older laptops and newer Windows operating systems (8.1 or 10) with touch baked in (or for that matter, for those with newer machines who simply didn't want to fork out for a touchscreen).

On the latter point concerning money, the AirBar is now available for pre-order and is pitched relatively cheaply at $49 (£33) – that's for the black coloured model which fits a 15.6-inch laptop.

The only limitation with AirBar is that this is the only size Neonode produces currently, although in the future that may change. The company is also apparently working on some sort of support for Mac laptops, but at the moment it's Windows or Chromebook only when it comes to official support for the peripheral.

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