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20 July 2017

Lenovo wants to be a serious player in the world of AI-powered devices

Lenovo. Yes, Lenovo.
Lenovo. Yes, Lenovo.

Image: Chesnot /Getty Images

Google Home. Amazon Echo. Apple HomePod. Lenovo SmartCast+?

The company that brought you the Yoga Book has big plans for an artificially intelligent smart-device future — plans that it will reveal at the June 20 third annual Lenovo Tech World conference in Shanghai. 

The Chinese company has created a host of concept products that it says demonstrate its “vision for the future of AI.”

“We believe an intelligent future makes people’s lives better, and that starts with smart devices,” a spokesperson wrote in a press release. “Cloud enabled devices – such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, smart speakers, smart TV and AR/VR – bring you content, services and experiences in a new way.”

So what exactly did Lenovo cook up? A few things, actually. 

For starters, let’s take a look at the SmartCast+. According to the company, this is “an intelligent, interactive speaker, to do more – it recognizes sounds, objects and delivers AR experiences. It makes learning fun and immersive like with the fairytale module where children can learn Chinese, project their illustrations and Chinese subtitles while listening to the lesson.”

So smart.

So smart.

But Lenovo has its sights set past the smart speaker category, and is at least tentatively foraying into the world of computer vision. Say hello to the daystAR, “an optical display with an independent vision processing unit and free-formed surface lenses with a 40-degree field of view.”

Well that sounds pretty cool. 

It's a star, for sure.

It’s a star, for sure.

Another standout idea is CAVA, the “context aware virtual assistant” that “uses deep learning-based face recognition systems and natural language understanding technologies to manage calendar events and remind you based on your habits.”

That, plus the SmartVest (which, no, will not dry you off after falling from your hoverboard into water) and the Xiaole platform — envisioned to “constantly learns from conversations with customers and adjusts accordingly to provide a personalized and customized user experience” — round out the tech giant’s ideas for our shared AI-powered future.  

Keep in mind: these are just concept products, so don’t expect to see one on a store shelf any time soon. Even so, they prove that Lenovo is looking ahead and working toward a time when artificial intelligence is so interwoven into our lives that it literally interacts with the clothing we wear. 

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