With most analysts and tech-pundits predicting that smart wearables will be the next big thing in consumer electronics, tech-companies big and small seem to be latching on to the bandwagon. Of late, we've seen companies like Huawei, Haier, Asus, Motorola and a bunch of other manufacturers launching their respective first generation smartwatches. That of course, is in addition to global heavyweights like Samsung, LG and Sony who have been launching smartwatches for the past two to three years, even though sales have not exactly skyrocketed. But now that Apple has brought the device category into public consciousness with its first generation Apple Watch, many industry insiders are hopeful that the devices will catch-on with mainstream consumers much the same way as smartphones have, over the past few years.
News earlier this week indicated that the much talked-about Huawei watch is close to being launched, but at a fairly steep $387. Now, another big manufacturer from China - Lenovo, has also shown off its Magic View concept smartwatch, featuring dual-screens. Lenovo was showcasing some of its working prototype devices at the Lenovo Tech World conference in Beijing, China. We've seen dual screen phones like the Yotaphone, but a dual-screen smartwatch is still a novelty, and there's no telling whether the trend would catch on. The prototype comes with a traditional round main display, but also has a second, smaller display, attached between the watch face and the strap. The company is calling it the "Virtual Interactive Display", and Lenovo claims this second screen will help solve one of the main problems with a smartwatch - the inordinately small display. The second display will ostensibly allow users to see images better by blowing them up by as much as 20 times the size on a regular smartwatch display, and will also facilitate better privacy by displaying potentially sensitive information on it rather than on the main display for the whole world to see.
Mr. Peter Hortensius, Chief Technology Officer at Lenovo, claimed that the company has gotten 120 patents for the Magic View smartwatch. While he did reiterate that the product was still only a prototype, he also reminded everyone present at the event that the Yoga tablets manufactured by the company also started life as concept prototypes. Lenovo also showed off a new smartphone prototype with a laser projector at the event. Named the Smart Cast, the phone is capable of projecting photos and videos onto surfaces like walls and floors. It remains to be seen whether any of these innovations actually percolate down to consumer-oriented devices, but Lenovo definitely cannot be blamed for not trying to be innovative.