Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today at Lenovo Tech World, , the company's first global technology event, announced many new products, demonstrated several breakthrough product concepts that will change the way people interact with technology, and shared insight on the future of the industry from the CEOs of Intel, Microsoft and Baidu.
"Lenovo Tech World was a celebration of innovation with some of the world's great tech leaders, our partners and suppliers, and most important of all, our fans and customers," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, Lenovo. "Lenovo has a unique position in our industry because we can deliver the devices, smart connectivity and infrastructure required to create a great user experience and satisfy real user needs. Even more, we talk to our fans everyday about how we can innovate together. They are our partners in defining the future of technology. We will deliver innovation like we showed here today to solve problems and address customer pain points. We will bring together hardware software and services to transform the user experience. This is our vision, and we showed some glimpses of the next wave of Lenovo innovation here today."
Keynote Highlights: Internet Transformation Drives 3-1 Device Strategy
In his keynote address, Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing addressed five developing themes that will continue to change the way people use technology by:
- Creating more natural ways to connect people with devices
- Building device and network connections that are reliable, seamless and ubiquitous
- Making devices interconnected for rich interactions
- Giving customers the power of big data and their own personal cloud
- Leveraging smart connectivity to let customers pick the services they want and create their own unique experiences
Yuanqing referenced Lenovo's creation of the convertible category in 2012 with the four-mode YOGA convertible as an example of how hardware innovation solves specific customer pain-points and gives them new, more personal ways to interact with their devices.
Concept Devices Indicate Powerful Future
In addition to products available this year, Lenovo also gave an inside look at three of its upcoming research and technology projects. These concepts demonstrate the innovative thinking today that holds the promise of changing the face of technology tomorrow.
Smartwatches are appealing for their incredible convenience, however, their small, wristwatch-sized form factor makes it challenging to display more beyond getting instant updates. Lenovo is approaching this challenge with the Magic View smartwatch concept - the first step in the journey to making smartwatches more usable. Magic View is the first smartwatch with two screens. The second screen - the virtual interactive display - removes the limitations from the physical dimensions of the main screen. It uses optical reflection to create a virtual image and allows users to see a virtual display more than 20 times larger than the watch face display. For example, they can follow a map, view photos or even watch a video. It gives users large enough visuals and immersive experiences, unlike smartwatches of today. Lenovo worked with key technical partners as well as designing its own silicon chip to miniaturize the components without sacrificing performance.
Beyond wearables, Lenovo explained its solution to making smartphones more usable, more PC-like, by unveiling the Smart Cast concept product. Whereas today smartphones are limited to consuming content, Smart Cast changes the paradigm by giving users a smartphone with built-in laser projector, infrared motion detector and high-performance algorithms. This first ever technology combination opens a new world of interaction: Users can project a large virtual touchscreen onto a table to type with a virtual keyboard and work with specific productivity apps (calculator, drawing, note-taking and even edit in Microsoft PowerPoint). Using just the projector alone, users can transform their wall into a movie theatre to watch videos, give a presentation or even play games like Fruit Ninja using hang gestures on the table or cast onto the wall. For a transformative video chat, they can project content onto the wall while viewing different content simultaneously on their smartphone screen.
At Tech World, noted pianist Lang Lang helped demonstrate the possibilities of Smart Cast with a rendition of The Entertainer played on the virtual keyboard with the full size sheet music displayed from the smartphone's projector.
Lenovo also demonstrated its Smart Shoes concept - one of its Internet of Things (IoT) products that leverages the cloud to tie together hardware, software and applications in a new way. The smart shoes display a person's mood on its screen as well as track and analyze fitness data including heart beats and caloric consumption and even provide maps and directions to places. The smart shoes concept fits into Lenovo's IoT cloud strategy to build an ecosystem including open SDK platform, innovation incubator with professionals from different areas, smart devices, supply chains and powerful backend cloud infrastructure.
New Products Drive More Personal Experiences Today
Mobile Devices and Buying Experiences Tailored to Individual Appetites
With the backdrop of devices becoming more personal, Motorola Mobility announced that Moto Maker, Motorola's exclusive online design studio for creating custom smartphones, is now available in China. Starting today, Chinese consumers can log-onto Motomaker.com and create their one-of-a-kind Moto X. This announcement illustrates how new models are changing the way customers interact with brands to build devices that are uniquely theirs.
In 2014, Lenovo announced the formation of ShenQi, a separate company that began operating under an Internet-based business model in China in April. ShenQi is focused on integrating software and hardware for unique user experiences and developing IoT products supporting the smart home ecosystem. Specifically for IoT devices, ShenQi will develop wearables and products for smart transportation and the smart office.
At Tech World, ShenQi highlighted several leading devices including new super-slim power banks, 3D printers that can print food, out of chocolate for example, and high-precision objects, the smallest dual-track outdoor sound box and a smart home control center based on Wi-Fi. The company is also exploring emerging fields such as robots and unmanned aerial vehicles.
With the emergence of more specialized devices, Lenovo is also creating tools especially for the unique needs of business users. Lenovo announced the new ThinkPad 10, a tablet that elevates computing for mobile professionals. The tablet includes the new ThinkPad Pen Pro, giving users greater accuracy and business-class security for better data protection.
Simultaneously to driving hardware advancements, Lenovo and its partners are advancing user-centric software solutions, particularly in the areas of alternate input including voice, touchscreen technology and pen.
WRITEit Tackles One of World's Most Challenging Languages
Lenovo announced the next step in its hardware, software and ecosystem journey with a new software feature that ties together speech and writing technology for a better user experience on the YOGA Tablet 2 8-in Android with AnyPen for Manadarin. Until now, voice input of Chinese names has been a challenging task given there are nearly 7,000 commonly used characters and only 50 without a homonym. A Chinese given name usually consists of one or two characters, which is picked freely from these 7,000 or even more characters. Consider one name: Ying (said with a flat tone). Depending on which character the person picks for her name, it can have several meanings including cherry, hero, eagle, or a singing bird. This poses a particular challenge for voice recognition, and that's why WRITEit for Mandarin proves especially helpful. With Lenovo's WRITEit and Fusion Input technology, users can easily use gestures and context to define and correct the voice recognition results on screen.
Debuts Cortana and REACHit
Lenovo announced and demonstrated Cortana and REACHit, a new experience resulting from a close collaboration with Microsoft. Cortana is the personal digital assistant available across Windows 10 PCs, tablets and phones that allows users to talk or type naturally to get things done. REACHit extends the search capabilities of Cortana to non-Microsoft services. By creating a REACHit account, users can search Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and remote PCs and tablets all-in-one place. This deep, exclusive platform integration gives Cortana a much larger inventory of information to search, opening up an entirely new level of contextual search and giving users the most comprehensive, seamless and natural way to find their personal digital content.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, joined Yuanqing to talk further about new capabilities coming in Windows 10 and how customers will benefit from Windows as a Service, universal applications across all devices and the opportunity for developers.
Lenovo's product announcements and demonstrations show how deeply integrated hardware and software make a better user experience, but the cloud and big data must be unleashed to realize the true potential of these powerful technologies. To illustrate this concept, former NBA player Shane Battier explained how he used big data and his own personal cloud powered by servers to out-analyze and out-maneuver his opponents, on the hardwood. Big data allowed Battier to know his opponent's weaknesses and play smarter. This translated into a focused and measurable defensive strategy that added up to real points in games where every point counts.
To further Lenovo's offerings for storage for business customers, Lenovo also announced the new Lenovo Storage S2200 and S3200 storage arrays. Designed for simplicity, speed, scalability and availability, these feature-rich arrays easily integrate into network environments and are loaded with proven storage innovations at a low entry price point.
Redefining Reality with Intel® RealSense Technology
Lenovo has built strong and long-standing partnerships with industry leaders such as Intel to identify and develop new technology solutions. Natural human expressions like gestures, speech, and facial expressions are increasingly becoming viable input methods, and Intel has been leading significant work in this area with the Intel RealSense cameras and software.
Intel RealSense Cameras come as an optional feature in several Lenovo devices, including laptops and AIO desktops, and help enable new ways to interact, including password free login with Windows* Hello using Windows* 10, gaming, entertainment, video conferencing and content creation usages. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich joined Yuanqing to demonstrate the next generation Intel RealSense Camera specifically designed for tablets and mobile form factors that brings 3D scanning capabilities at consumer price points as well as other usages like depth-enhanced photo and video, augmented reality and gaming. Krzanich also discussed Intel's intent to bring Intel RealSense technology to emerging devices like robots, drones, wearables and the Internet of Things.
Harnessing Power of Artificial Intelligence with Baidu
As Human-Machine interaction continues to develop, Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, is putting his company at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI) research. At Lenovo Tech World, he demonstrated how advancements in Deep Learning and Big Data technology could improve the user experience. Baidu's newest achievement in AI focuses on computers making decisions and giving verbal answers based on their recognition of pictures and understanding of questions.
Robin also demonstrated new features of Baidu Translator. After a user takes a picture of a menu with his/her mobile phone, the app can translate the entire menu into Chinese and display it in full-screen. Another "conversation" feature can help people of different languages to freely communicate.
Li also addressed how AI-based picture and voice recognition technology can be widely applied to people's lives today. He shared two examples: finding clothes to purchase based on a photo of an outfit someone is wearing to digitally mashing-up user images of tourist destinations in Nepal before the earthquake to digitally reconstruct those hot-spots.
New Logo for the New Lenovo
While Tech World set the vision for Lenovo's future products, business and relationship with customers, it also marked the culmination of Lenovo's decade long multi-faceted transformation. The company has changed dramatically from its roots solely as a PC company, recently celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its acquisition of the IBM PCD business. That initial acquisition launched Lenovo to become a $46 billion technology leader and one of the world's leading consumer electronics companies. This momentum also spurred growth into new businesses and devices including smartphones and servers boosted by acquisitions of Motorola Mobility and IBM's X86 server business in 2014.
To mark this strategic shift, Lenovo debuted its new logo at Tech World. The new logo offers a more personal, engaging and consumer-centric experience that reflects Lenovo's personality and incorporates its rich heritage of acquisitions and original innovation DNA.
"Through our long-standing collaboration with Lenovo and the broader technology ecosystem, we are collectively bringing the future of technology to consumers, developers and businesses," said Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel Corporation. "New product innovations like Intel RealSense technology with its depth sensing, 3D scanning, motion tracking and augmented reality capabilities are just the beginning to enabling experiences that were once thought impossible."
"Microsoft and Lenovo share a long history of collaborating on technology innovations that blend the magic of software and hardware to delight and empower our mutual customers," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "Together we will continue to bring innovative new devices and rich experiences enabled by Windows 10 together to connect customers with the people and information they care about in ways that are more personal, mobile, natural and trusted."
Robin Li, the founder and CEO of Baidu, said "Nowadays, China has reached the leading level of the world in artificial intelligence. Moreover, we are on the threshold of blowout growth in various AI areas such as voice recognition technology, image recognition technology and big data. In the future, Baidu will carry out in-depth cooperation with Lenovo on devices and infrastructure. Based on our technical innovation ability, we aim to provide users with a smarter and freer life.
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