July 28, 2014 weblog
Lenovo's smart glasses prototype has battery at neck
China's PC giant Lenovo last week offered a peek at its Google Glass-competing smart glass prototype, further details of which are to be announced in October. Lenovo's glasses prototype is not an extreme departure from the Google Glass look but there is a distinguishing feature and that is a battery pack that sits at the back of the neck, connected to the device with what The Telegraph described as a blue wire.
The world's largest PC maker has unveiled its own prototype version of the wearable computer smart glasses concept, which uses a battery pack to sit at the back of the neck, connected to the device with a blue wire. With that type of form factor, said PhoneArena, "it will be interesting to see how it is received. With the battery around the neck, one could argue that it provides an additional canvas to make a fashion statement." According to The Telegraph, "a virtual screen is projected onto a small acrylic prism in front of the user's right eye. It also has a similar, albeit it more bulky, unit on the right-hand arm of the glasses to house memory chips and processors."
Lenovo's show of the prototype is part of a push to attract developers and other hardware manufacturers to a new partner program.said Michael Kan, Beijing correspondent, IDG News Service, in PCWorld. The company is searching for the kind of partners that can help Lenovo debut products from routers to air purifiers for the home market, said Kan. "The PC maker wants to team up, and even invest in tech companies that work on products beyond PCs and smartphones."
Lenovo now has a "NBD," which stands for "New Bench," platform. Through NBD, Lenovo can offer support such as funding, manufacturing, and research to partners. "Right now there are too many kinds of devices you can develop for the Internet of Things. It's too rich. Not one company can do it all," said Chen Xudong, Lenovo senior vice president.
Meanwhile, Lenovo in addition to its own prototype, is partnering with U.S. smart glasses maker Vuzix to bring a smart glass product to China. Vuzix announced its deal with Lenovo, to bring the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses to China. The wearable is to be co-branded as a Vuzix/Lenovo solution, said Rochester, New York-based Vuzix. Features include Chinese language, voice recognition, mapping and other services, said the company.
The M100 runs Android 4.0.4, According to the Vuzix release, sales shipments are "commencing in early September and more broad based sales activities across China growing through the Fall of 2014." As it attempts to broaden its reach beyond PCs, noted Kan, Lenovo has typically introduced product categories in China before deciding whether to sell them elsewhere, an approach that the company took with smartphones, tablets and smart TV products.
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