Lenovo has revealed two unusual concept devices at its first global technology event, Lenovo Tech World 2015. The Magic View is a smartwatch with two screens, and the Smart Cast is a smartphone with a built-in virtual keyboard projector module. Both concepts were demonstrated on stage, showing they go beyond simple works-on-paper prototypes.
The Magic View looks like a traditional round watch, but the strap holds a clever second screen which uses reflections to give the impression images are 20 times larger than what would normally be seen on the small display. It’s necessary to get up close to the watch for the effect to work, which also makes it useful for viewing private messages.
Lenovo says that privacy issues and the size of the screen are two reasons people aren’t latching onto smartwatches, and the Magic View solves both problems. Otherwise, the watch looks a lot like the Moto 360 — Motorola is owned by Lenovo, don’t forget — with a circular body and a stylish metal strap.
The Smart Cast is a world first, thanks to its laser projector built into the top of the phone. While it’s capable of throwing images and video onto a screen or wall, the really cool feature here is a projected virtual keyboard. It’s combined with an infrared motion detector and gesture control algorithms, so it can be used to type messages, play games, or as demonstrated on stage, play a virtual piano. What’s more, the projected image is entirely separate from what’s on the screen of the phone. This makes it an interesting feature for gaming, work, or even for video chats.
These are both concepts at the moment, but according to Lenovo’s Chief Technology Officer Peter Hortensius, the company is serious about making them in the future. “We wouldn’t be showing it if we weren’t,” he is quoted as saying.