Lenovo reveals AR glasses and AI-driven smart speaker concepts


Lenovo has some new concepts to show off

Lenovo has some new concepts to show off

Lenovo has been sharing some of its visions of the future at its annual Tech World Innovation summit in Shanghai. If the next generation augmented reality, digital assistant and health monitoring concepts are any indication, the company is getting ready to move beyond its usual remit of laptops and smartphones.

First up is the Lenovo DaystAR augmented reality (AR) headset, which has all the processing power it needs on board – there’s no need to slot in a phone or connect it up to a computer.

Lenovo did have a handful of prototypes on show, and says the AR glasses have a 40-degree field of view and can be used to scan, upload, and edit 3D objects. A bespoke Lenovo-made software platform will enable apps for remote assistance, gaming, and design, the company says.

Then there’s the SmartCast+, like an Amazon Echo but better, according to Lenovo. It includes a projection unit, object and voice recognition, and some AR capabilities as well. So not only can it voice its responses to spoken queries, it can also show images and video.

One of the ways the SmartCast+ could be used, its makers say, is in education. For kids learning Chinese, words and icons would get projected up on the wall while the speaker talks the pupils through the lesson.

Like just about every other tech company today, Lenovo is thinking about launching its own smart assistant app, too. Called CAVA (Context Aware Virtual Assistant), it would be smarter than Siri and Alexa (at least in Lenovo’s opinion), and get packed with deep learning, facial recognition, and natural language understanding.

By way of example, Lenovo says users could tell CAVA about a meeting in two hours and get a weather and traffic reported back so they know when to leave – which sounds exactly like what today’s digital assistants can already do.

Finally, Lenovo also talked about a SmartVest top, equipped with an ECG monitor that checks up on heart rhythm around the clock. There are 10 sensors built into the smart clothing in all.

The SmartVest would provide valuable feedback for athletes looking to monitor their performance, as well as giving early warning of cardiovascular problems like tachycardia or atrial fibrillation.

You might have spotted a lack of pricing and availability details, and that’s because all of these products are still at the concept and prototype stages, and Lenovo isn’t guaranteeing that any of them will ever make it to consumers.

Even so, it’s another sign of the biggest names in tech recognizing the need to expand beyond the standard products we’re all used to, whether it’s the HTC Vive or the Sony Xperia Projector.

Like Google, Apple, and others, Lenovo is also pushing artificial intelligence technologies, and says its new concepts rely heavily on AI. “As a company and industry we have to get the ABCs – algorithm, big data, and computing power – of AI right,” Lenovo said in a press statement. “These factors together allow AI to make life better.”