Besides the concept smartwatch, Lenovo also revealed a few other notable concept devices at its Tech World show here in Beijing, including a concept smartphone as well as a pair of smart running shoes.
The concept smartphone from Lenovo builds upon the idea from the recent Yoga Tablet 2, which houses a built-in pico projector. For that tablet, the pico projector is almost exclusively used for content delivery, such as projecting movies or presentations. However, Lenovo were exponentially more ambitious with the projector smartphone.
Interestingly, this isn’t actually the first smartphone with a built-in projector. Back in 2012, Samsung released the Galaxy Beam, a terribly bulky Android smartphone whose built-in projector was simply not bright enough to be actually useful. At Lenovo Tech World, CEO Yang Yuanqing demonstrated a few of the interesting applications of the projector smartphone – called Smart Cast – on stage earlier today. The laser projector is housed in a module on top of the device that can rotate, allowing it to either project videos from the top of the device to a nearby wall, or to beam things like a virtual keyboard on a surface in front of the screen.
What’s exciting about this is in the way Lenovo has also created a hardware and software solution that allows any surface to essentially turn into a touch display. In the case of the virtual keyboard beamed to a surface, users can type away as the sensors detect taps and translate them into text. There is also a gesture recognition engine that detects motion, such as swipe gestures.
Another curious concept device is the “smart” running shoes. Designed for the IoT age, when virtually everything can be connected and have its data quantified, these shoes are fitted with an array of sensors that measure the distance travelled, calories burned and other functions. These data are synced into a dedicated app, which can inevitably plug into larger services.
If you like your shoes unique, you’ll also like the fact that the outer part of these shoes are fitted with LEDs that you can then customize to show off virtually any design you can draw or write in that square space.
Just like the concept smartwatch, these two concept devices are still proof-of-concept products that are unlikely to be in mass production anytime soon. However, it is more than likely that future iterations of these concepts will eventually turn into actual consumer products of the future.