Last year’s Lenovo Tech World saw the Chinese company displaying some wacky concept ideas; this theme continues at the 2016 edition, including some genuinely cool new concepts.
At the opening keynote, Lenovo showed off two of its latest concept devices that merge two different products into a single, flexible product. The first is called Cplus, a phone/smartwatch.
Cplus is built around the idea of owning a smartwatch that is genuinely useful – after all, most smartwatches today are nothing if they aren’t connected to a smartphone, so why not make the smartwatch a smartphone?
Bendable displays go a long way into making this technology possible, but that merely solves one problem. Cplus doesn’t just require a flexible display, the entire body will need to flex around a wrist. To solve this, Cplus has a flexible PCB that bends along with the exoskeleton (which flexes along a fixed motion with its chain links).
The Cplus is also capable of flexing in two curves, making it suitable for various wrist sizes. The 4.35-inch display works even when it is bent in watch mode.
Sadly, the Cplus was kept under a glass enclosure, and a closer look reveals that only one of the five Cplus units was actually working; the rest appear to be mock-ups.
The other 2-in-1 concept device is called the Folio. The Folio can be used either as a 7.8-inch tablet with a resolution of 1920 x 1440, or folded into a 5.5-inch smartphone that has a screen that flows from the front to the back.
This, Lenovo claims, allows a user to enjoy the benefits of owning both a smartphone and a tablet – without buying both. The UI is perceptive, which means it scales based on which mode the user is in.
Meanwhile, the strip where the display bends while in phone mode takes on a similar role as Samsung’s Edge screen, offering widgets that show useful information, or provide quick access to favourite apps.
Finally, one of last year’s concept devices is now in its second iteration. Lenovo’s smart shoes, now called the Smart Lifestyle F2 Smart Shoes, appear more refined this time around, and has some new features to boot.
Powering the shoe’s smart features is an Intel Curie-based platform, with various sensors that allow the shoe to measure steps taken, calories burned, while Bluetooth 4.1 and a 300mAh battery lets the shoe transfer this data into your phone or even be used in-game.
There’s a shoe-sized wireless charging plate to charge the shoes, while the soles are transparent similar to Nike’s Air Max shoes. But there’s a twist: within the insoles are LEDs which even the creators seem to think is more for fun than for safety (they light up when you stomp three times in the shoes, making them very visible at night).
There’s even a quick lacing system by BOA.
The insole is custom-made using 3D printers to make them uniquely designed for your feet, while the outsole is made from Vibram. In fact, Vibram has been involved in this project with Lenovo since last year’s version.
These being concept devices, there are currently no concrete plans as to when they will hit the consumer market. Lenovo states that these concepts merely stretch the realms of just what can be done, and in turn, perhaps spawn even better ideas that will eventually take off.