At its first ever Tech World, Lenovo took the wraps off a concept smartwatch that attempts to solve the small-screen issue among smartwatches. Using a technology called Virtual Interactive Display (VID), this secondary display is able to project images that are up to 20 times the size of a smartwatch screen.
VID is a technology developed in-house at Lenovo, and is made up of two components: a Virtual Projection Optical Engine and a Light Guide Optical Element. A two-finger swipe on compatible apps, such as Street View that was used during the demo, pushes the display from the main watch face to the VID (which is also called Magic View). The interactive element lies with the use of the watch’s sensors. In the case of Street View, moving the watch as you view the VID lets you pan around in the direction of your movement.
However, from our initial observations the VID appears to solve a problem that actually may not even exist – and the solution may be even more complicated than the “problem”. You need to view the VID in really close proximities – the closer, the better – to really be able to see what’s being projected. In actual usage, this results in a very odd user experience.
The smartwatch itself looks suspiciously like a Moto 360m including the “flat tyre” display. In any case, this is of course a concept device that may likely not enter mass production – though the other concept devices shown here today, such as the LED smart running shoes or the smartphone with built-in projector, may have a chance in future iterations.