Lenovo, one of the world’s leading consumer electronics and smartphone manufacturers, has revealed details of its New Glass C200 smart headset product at CES 2017. The New Glass C200 is similar in some respects to Google’s technology demonstrator, Project Glass, in that it incorporates a head-mounted lens assembly designed to be looked through and not to block the wearer’s vision. However, unlike Google Glass, Lenovo have designed the New Glass C200 to be a two-part unit. The headset, which Lenovo are calling the Glass part, includes a camera and a display designed to be used by one eye and weighs only 60 grams. The reason why this part is so light is because most of the electronics are based in the Pocket Unit, which is also designed to be tethered to a smartphone. Lenovo did not detail the specifications of the Pocket Unit, such as chipset technologies, battery life, wireless radios or device compatibilities.
In terms of functionality, Lenovo did go into a little more detail here. The New Glass C200 is capable of identifying real-world objects in the wearer’s field of vision and project information onto the screen. Lenovo’s examples are biased towards the service, repair and maintenance markets and currently the New Glass C200 is able to identify twenty types of objects. Once it has identified a type of object it may superimpose repair instructions, building schematics and similar. As such, the Lenovo New Glass C200 is following a similar pattern to other competing products including Google Glass and devices such as the Smart Helmet. Here, the manufacturer is incorporating augmented reality technologies to real world issues and problems.
The New Glass C200 is not Lenovo’s first smart headwear, as the company has introduced similar but less advanced and capable products in the past. And whilst the Google Glass was not a commercial success, it must be remembered that Google did not release Glass to be a commercial product but instead as a prototype and demonstration of how Google was developing technologies. If Google were to release a new generation Glass headset, it will be sure to incorporate a number of improvements. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s continued development and how the company is positioning the device for the business and industrial markets means there remains a small but worthwhile market for the technology.