Add a touchscreen to your MacBook

Would you want a touchscreen MacBook?


Let’s face it. We all wish the Apple MacBook had a touchscreen. In spite of so many Windows machines offering the functionality, Apple refuses to budge. There seems to be a company addressing the problem.

AirBar is an accessory that is powered via your MacBook’s USB port. It magnetically attaches to the machine’s display at the bottom bezel. Once installed, the device adds touchscreen functionality to the monitor with no software installation. Don’t believe us? Have a look at the video below.

AirBar works with the help of an invisible light field. It can sense your interaction with the screen and act accordingly. Using AirBar, you can pinch to zoom, swipe and perform gestures on the MacBook’s screen. According to the company’s press release, the device even works with gloves and a paint brush.

The 13-inch MacBook Air is currently the first Apple product to be supported by AirBar. The AirBar designed for the machine can be pre-ordered for $99 (Dh364) and is set to ship in March. Other MacBooks will be supported in the first half of the year.

What about the 2016 MacBook Pro?

In the quest to become forward-thinking, Apple decided to ditch a lot of I/O functionality with its latest machine. While the move enraged many customers, they eventually had to give into using dongles even for basic USB support.

At CES, like AirBar, a company called OWC addressed this issue and has offered the solution. Its device, DEC, is a slab that can attach to the bottom of the 2016 MacBook Pro. In return for a chunkier form factor (nearly an inch thick), you get up to 4TB of SSD or flash storage, an SD card slot, full-sized USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet port. Would you then use an AirBar to bring touchscreen functionality? That would make the perfect machine.

An early render showcasing the concept of DEC, which attaches to the bottom of the 2016 MacBook Pro to add USB 3.1 and ethernet ports

DEC remains a concept product for the time being and the company does not have pricing or availability details yet. Both the AirBar and DEC are being showcased at CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week.