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Attachment transforms older computers into touchscreens

LAS VEGAS — Many people who have tried Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system without a touch screen computer have hated it because of the inability to use touch and swipe commands that are central to the new system.

Now, a company has made a digital pen to allow people to use Windows 8 on their old monitors for far less than the cost of buying a new touch-enabled computer.

The device, called the Apen Touch8, was unveiled last week at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. It's a cordless pen that works with an attachment that plugs into the computer's USB port.

The attachment clips magnetically to the side of the screen. The pen emits an infrared beam that the attachment sends to the computer, which interprets its precise location.

Pushing down on the pen results in a separate signal, which is equivalent to a touch screen sensing when you are touching it. Just like that, you can swipe and tap your way through Windows 8. The pen runs on a watch battery, which should last about 500 hours and is replaceable.

The pen is to go on sale by the end of March for $80.

Attachment transforms older computers into touchscreens 01/13/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:00am]

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