Lenovo teases smartwatch, virtual keyboard and smart shoes

At its Tech World conference, Lenovo announces concepts for several "innovative" new products that it believes "will change the way people interact with technology."

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Lenovo's Magic View could turn your smartphone into a virtual PC. Lenovo

Lenovo has some intriguing products up its sleeve that could appeal to mobile users.

At its Lenovo Tech World conference on Wednesday, the company revealed concepts for three new products designed for mobile use. The term concept means that the products aren't yet available in the flesh but are on Lenovo's to-do list to try to bring them to market.

Lenovo has done well for itself in the PC and smartphone markets. For its fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31, the company reported a 20 percent jump in sales to $46.3 billion. Lenovo is the world's top PC maker and the world's third largest smartphone vendor. But in a sluggish PC market and competitive smartphone arena, the company needs to continue to expand and innovate with new products. The ones announced Wednesday could prove innovative enough to attract the appetite of consumers looking for something different.

One product is a new smartwatch dubbed Magic View, a device that attempts to distinguish itself from other smartwatches, which can be too small to easily read. Magic View would offer two screens -- one with a regular view and the second with a virtual display 20 times larger than the standard display. The watch uses optical reflection to create the virtual image, which lets users read a map, view photos or even watch a video, Lenovo said.

The second concept device teased at the conference was a virtual keyboard and built-in projector for smartphones. Known as Smart Cast, the device is designed to make smartphones as usable as PCs through virtual technology. The virtual keyboard is projected onto a table or other object, giving smartphone users a full-sized keyboard on which to type. The projector can display the content from the smartphone onto a wall or large screen, ideal for giving presentations, watching videos and playing games.

To demonstrate Smart Cast, Lenovo employed a pianist to play a song using the virtual keyboard while reading the sheet music displayed through the device's projector.

The third concept brings the smarts from your phone or wrist to your feet. Dubbed Smart Shoes, this product outfits high-tech shoes with the ability to display mood and fitness data directly on small screens embedded into the shoes. The device would be able to track your heart beats and calories consumed as well as display directions to your destination.

Though still in the concept stage, the products show that Lenovo is clearly thinking beyond its roots as a PC maker.