Lenovo hosted their Tech World event in Beijing this week and it was a doozy. While the main goal of the day was to promote newly launched products and introduce their Internet of Things (IoT) strategy, some of the most exciting reveals were found in a handful of “concept” devices that were included in the event. I have included the highlights from my three personal favorites below.
Smart Mood Shoes
These are not just smart shoes, they are singlehandedly-kicking-those-mood-rings-from-my-childhoods’ butts shoes. I loved my mood ring (although it did seem to indicate I was far gloomier than I personally imagined myself most of the time). Nevertheless, I thought it was magic. Lenovo is now bringing that same magic to footwear with a pair of smart shoes that actually broadcasts the wearer’s emotions onto a small display screen embedded in the side of the shoe. Sure, they would also track your health and activity data, give you directions on-the-go and even signal to drivers while you run. But it’s that little light-up smiley on the side that has me currently willing to shell out whatever they end up costing to get myself a pair.
Magic View Smartwatch
While the Magic View smartwatch may look eerily similar to the Moto 360 from the outside, inside it may have solved the biggest problem people have with smart wearables as a whole today – size. If you make a smartwatch too small, it’s nearly impossible to see or use making the “smart” in it kind of pointless. Make them much larger than a regular-sized watch and they end up looking ridiculous. So the innovative team over at Lenovo cooked up a concept smartwatch that actually features two screens - you have your standard watch face screen, then a second screen in the watch strap itself which would appear to be totally cosmetic at first glance. Once you hold it to your eye though, you would see an image that Lenovo claims is 20 times larger than the watch’s main display by using technology called “optical reflection”. It’s a surprisingly interesting solution to the size complaint we so often hear associated with smartwatches currently on the market, plus it adds the security of knowing only your little eye pressed to your wrist can see what is on the second screen.
The Smart Cast Concept for Smartphones
One of the coolest demos given at this week’s Tech World event was actually in the field of smartphones. For a market that seems fully saturated in every technological area possible, Lenovo managed to display something I’m actually looking forward to – their Smart Cast concept. This technology puts a built-in laser projector and infrared motion detector directly into the smartphone user’s pocket. The user is then able to not only project a huge virtual touchscreen on to any flat surface they choose, but also interact with it. The possibilities this opens up for smartphone users is endless – the option to have your smartphone act as a projector to turn a wall into a virtual movie theater, the ability to project and interact with a virtual keyboard anywhere you go and even projected interaction with your apps and games. Even more than those happy feet, this is the technology I’m most looking forward to.
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