Lots of companies talk the talk when it comes to Innovation. But just saying the word or making it part of your slogans or talking points is one thing, actually demonstrating innovation is something only a few companies can genuinely do.
Alongside heavyweights like Apple and Samsung, Lenovo has something very important on their side when it comes to actually demonstrating innovation – Size. They are a huge company.
Every second five Lenovo products are sold globally. They are the number 1 PC company in the world. and number three in a bunch of other categories.
So with that scale on their side, they can afford to invest in research and development.
Here in Beijing this week they took a somewhat ballsy step of showing off a couple of products that are not coming to market any time soon, they are the kind of thing engineers in secret labs have been working on, and would be surprised yet excited to see them shown publicly.
The first was a SmartWatch. According to the Lenovo folks who talked about this concept on stage, the biggest problem with Smartwatches is the tiny screen. So what Lenovo have is a concept watch which has a second screen in the wrist band.
This screen is very different though. It’s not a 1.5cm LCD screen, it’s a whole bunch of new ideas and technology which actually create a tiny vision which when you look “into” the screen you are able to see the full picture. Lenovo call it Magic View, and describe it as a Virtual Interactive Display (VID). It’s almost impossible to explain in words, but – what they showed – in computer animated concepts – was a person holding their wrist up to their face and seeming to look through the watch.
I’m not sure I get it, but lets leave that one with the engineers.
The other big concept they showed was a smartphone. With a built in projector.
This projector wasn’t just any old projector, it was also capable of creating a touch sensitive image when projected.
The best way to exhibit this was the phone projecting a piano keyboard onto a desk. It was then played in real time with great success.
These products are not due soon. Perhaps not ever. But they are very cool, and prove quite clearly how Lenovo is taking time on Innovation. Very cool to peek behind those secure doors and see what’s planned.