Lenovo has taken to CES 2021 to announce a new “Show Mode” for its laptops and PCs. As the branding implies, the new mode lets users effectively turn their Lenovo PC into an Amazon Echo Show device.
For clarity, Echo Show is Amazon’s Alexa AI- and display-enabled product line. It provides users a full-blown interface for interacting with Alexa while simultaneously functioning like an Alexa smart speaker.
Echo Show can stream movies or music, launch apps, display calendar or weather data, and act as a photo frame. And it can also do a whole lot more. As shown in the featured image above, the service allows easy voice control over a smart home or media playback. As well as video chatting, information searches, reminders, and more. All controllable via voice.
So what does Show Mode do for Lenovo PCs and how does that work?
As indicated by Lenovo in its announcement, Show Mode allows all of that functionality and more. And that’s all enabled by the mics on the PCs in question. Presumably, Show Mode will arrive on PCs as part of an update. Then, users will simply need to enable the feature on a device with support for far-field mics and then ensure the device is unlocked with an open lid.
Then, interactions will work precisely as they do on any Amazon Echo Show device. The only real caveats are going to be based on the fact that a PC is not necessarily designed to work as a smart speaker. So device volume, the volume of users’ voices, and background noise will be a factor in how well it works. Although Lenovo says it has tested the service — in English — from more than 9.8-feet away. And that it plans to support other languages in the future.
Which PCs will get this and when is it coming?
Since not every Lenovo Windows 10 PC supports far-field mics, not every PC is going to get this feature though. In fact, it’s limited to just a handful of products for starters. Those include the Yoga Slim 9i, Yoga 9i, Yoga 7i, Yoga AIO 7, and the Ideapad 5 series. More devices will undoubtedly ship with the feature in the future.
Similarly, the features will only initially be available in the US and Canada. That’s at some unspecified time in Q2 2021. But Lenovo does plan to add support for the UK, Germany, Austria, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand in the future as well.