Lenovo shows smartphone that lets users interact with projected content

Both products are concept devices

Lenovo's concept for a new smartphone with a projector on top.

Lenovo's concept for a new smartphone with a projector on top.

Smartphones and smartwatches won't just display content, but will also be able to beam it on to tabletops, walls and even to the eye, according to Lenovo.

More remarkably, users will be able to interact with the projected images.

On Thursday, Lenovo unveiled a concept smartphone called "Smart Cast" that's fitted with a laser projector module on top of the device. The feature lets the handset display the phone's content on a hard surface, like a table or wall.

However, the phone isn't just a mobile digital projector. It can also read the gestures of users interacting with the projected images. In a demo, the Chinese company showed off the concept device, by using it to project a virtual piano keyboard on a table. The user could then play a song on the keyboard.

In another demo, the smartphone could also project a sheet of music. With a swipe of the finger on the music sheet, the phone loaded the next page.

This concept can break the constraints of a phone's screen size, said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing at a company event. To read gestures, the phone uses an infrared camera that can read "clicking, sliding and multi-touch," Lenovo said.

The Chinese vendor isn't just stopping with smartphones. It also showed a smartwatch, called the "Magic View," which has a smaller "virtual interactive display" attached to the main circular screen. The company claimed it to be the world's first dual-screen smartwatch.

"Smartwatches now have a huge flaw. The screens are too small," said Lenovo Chief Technology Officer Peter Hortensius. "Watches are not built for big visuals or immersive experiences."

Rather than display content on tables, or large surfaces, the smartwatch was fitted with the additional display as a way to project content directly to the user for private viewing. However, the experience was really more like peeking into a small keyhole to view an image. When brought close to the face, the smartwatch will display content to the eye.

The virtual image will be twenty times larger than what's shown on the watch face, Hortensius said.

Lenovo gave no indication of when the concept devices might arrive as products.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsAndroidsmartphonesLenovoaccessories

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?