Raising the Bar of Touch Screen Tech

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Touch screens are the order of the day. From phones to tabs, and now even laptop screens, touch screens have made tech navigation a lot easier from the days of the mouse. In an effort to convert conventional laptop screens into a touch-sensible one, Swedish company Neonode has developed a bar that can convert any screen into an optic touch-sensitive one.

Neonode has 170 active patents/patent applications filed across multiple jurisdictions, with a majority of them filed post 2010. However, its most popular patented technology is the zForce. This is the tech that powers several touch screens such as Sony’s e-reader, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo Touch and is now leveraging a similar tech to convert traditional laptop screens into touch screens – all with just the addition of a bar.

Named the AirBar, Neonode has created a USB plug-and-play type device that projects invisible light towards the screen which when blocked or disturbed results in a touch interface in a cost-efficient manner. AirBar is predominantly powered by Neonode’s patent US8339379. The patent discloses a light based touch screen for display devices, where the touch screen includes infra-red LEDs that generate light beams and LED selectors. It also includes photodiode receivers that measure light intensity and are controlled by photo diode selectors. An optical assembly allows the LEDs to emit and project light beams that can determine the position and velocity of an object coming its way.

The AirBar technology could also be mapped to another patent US8674966 that discloses the processor circuitry of the device. This patent describes a controller which includes a chip package and is coupled to a light based touch screen. The chip package includes an emitter driver and detector driver among other input/ output monitors that help identify a specific point where an object, such as the finger, touches a particular area of the “created” touch screen.

If AirBar makes the cut, you sure can keep your old traditional laptop and add this techy touché.

(Featured image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/intelfreepress/6983545613)

Aditya Bansal
Aditya Bansal

Aditya is a techno geek who enjoys analyzing patent portfolios of companies owning interesting technologies, and delving into patent landscapes of cutting-edge tech domains.


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