Neonode Inc., the Optical Interactive Sensing Technology Company, reports on a successful week at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas. Neonode’s technology was on display at the Encore Hotel, in the ST Micro Private suites, at the Autoliv autonomous driving demonstration, and the Volvo booth at the CES Central Hall.
The big theme for the 2016 CES was autonomous driving enablement technology, and Neonode demonstrated leadership in this space with its steering wheel technology, zForce DRIVE™. Neonode also solidified its position as key a innovator and contributor in the automotive segment with Volvo XC90 winning the inaugural “Best Auto Tech Award” at the 2016 CES. During the event Neonode also demonstrated AirBar™, which was well received with all who tested it, and now anticipate its arrival.
The AirBar sensor is a slim bar, magnetically positioned at the bottom of the user’s screen or keyboard, and emits an invisible light field that senses user’s touch and gestures. AirBar responds to fingers, gloves, long finger nails and even paint brushes, turning the user’s screen into a canvas. PC users interact with their screens using familiar touch actions which include swiping, pinching, zooming and scrolling. With AirBar you do not need any drivers or follow complicated instructions, it’s just plug and touch.
The response to Neonode’s new consumer product, AirBar has far exceeded expectations since its announcement mid-December. Over that last 3 weeks, we have been inundated with requests from consumers, PC OEMs, sistributors, and retailers on how soon they can get AirBar. Neonode’s plan was to expand incrementally to more sizes, and more regions, but the sheer demand has forced us to move faster to implement this plan. The result is that Neonode has now announced more sizes covering devices with 11.6”, 13.3”, 14”, and 15.6 inches screens. This range was decided on feedback from Neonode’s PC OEM, and display manufacturer partners. Furthermore, Neonode has also increased AirBar availability for pre-orders to more countries which include: China, India, Japan, and South Korea. Neonode is working with distributors, retailers, and Tier 1 PC OEM partners to bring AirBar to the mass market. Retailers will sell AirBar standalone for existing PCs, and also bundled with new PCs. PC OEMs will bundle AirBar with non-touch PCs to enhance the value they can bring to the consumer. Along with retail and online presence, Neonode will be working with resellers to the education, and eEnterprise channels.
AirBar is planned to be a platform for enabling other technologies such as virtual reality, gaming, and mouse functionalities. Neonode will release an API and work with a community of developers on finding advance functionalities for AirBar which can touch enable any surface, and space.
Neonode participated in the Pepcom media event on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The response from key media outlets was overwhelmingly positive with all wanting to review final production models when available. Neonode is planning to make AirBar available for review to coincide with product availability.
Through partners, Neonode is building an initial production capacity of 5 million devices, with targeted mass production commencing in late April, and first customer shipment of May 2016.
According to Microsoft, there are 500 million existing notebook devices and 140 million new notebooks being manufactured each year. The market is vast, so Neonode is working diligently to address this market using the best channels.
Neonode’s AirBar Devices Business will be headed by Remo Behdasht – SVP AirBar Devices and Business Development. Behdasht is highly experience in consumer electronics with comprehensive networks in North America, Europe, and Asia.