Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
Chinese computer titan Lenovo showed off a keenly-awaited Tango smartphone on June 9, 2016, as it focused on a future at the heart of the Internet of Things/AFP

Enterprise

Lenovo looks beyond computers with slick new phones

Chinese computer titan Lenovo showed off a keenly-awaited Tango smartphone on June 9, 2016, as it focused on a future at the heart of the Internet of Things/AFP

Chinese computer titan Lenovo showed off a keenly-awaited Tango smartphone on June 9, 2016, as it focused on a future at the heart of the Internet of Things/AFP

SAN FRANCISCO, United States, June 10 – Chinese computer titan Lenovo showcased a series of new smartphones Thursday, including a keenly-awaited Tango handset and new Moto Z models that can be transformed into video projectors or powerful speakers.

A market-ready PHAB2 Pro smartphone imbued with Google-created Tango augmented reality technology was given star treatment at a Lenovo Tech World gathering in San Francisco.

PHAB2 can sense and map its surroundings, enabling holograms to be overlaid on real world settings for anything from game play to figuring out which size sofa would fit in a room.

The big-screen gadget will be available globally in September for $499.

“It is a pretty incredible piece of technology for, really, a great price,” said Tango engineering director Johnny Lee.

Transforming smartphones

In what Lenovo chief executive Yang Yuanqing billed as perhaps the most important announcement at the event, Lenovo also unveiled new Moto Z smartphones that can be customized with “mods” — specialized pieces of hardware that snap into place magnetically to give handsets added capabilities.

For example, one mod let a Moto Z project video on walls or ceilings at sizes as large as a 70-inch television screen.

Another mod turned Moto Z handsets into powerful speakers.

“This phone can transform itself,” said Hollywood star and Lenovo spokesman Ashton Kutcher.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“This is actually a full-blown game-changer.”

Lenovo also launched a smartphone mod program for developers, enticing them with a million-dollar prize for a mod that best integrates handsets with services hosted in the Internet cloud.

Moto Z will be available in the United States in coming months through carrier Verizon, with models debuting globally later in the year, according to Lenovo.

Pricing was not disclosed.

Moto Z is made by Motorola, which Lenovo bought from Google in early 2014 in a deal valued at $2.91 billion.

The acquisition was part of a strategy by Lenovo to look beyond personal computers, where it is a market powerhouse, to a future of nearly everything being smart and connected to the Internet, according to Yang.

“Devices will become entry points for diverse content and services,” he said.

Smartphones that bend

Lenovo’s core business will remain personal computers, but it wants to use its expertise to combine hardware and cloud capabilities to help devices “listen, see, sense and understand the world,” according to Yang.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Lenovo’s innovative offerings showed that the company is committed to smartphones even though it only broke into the market with the purchase of Motorola, according to Gartner principal research analyst Mikako Kitagawa.

Gartner ranked Lenovo as the seventh biggest player in the smartphone market last quarter.

“They are really catching up as a late-comer to the market, but they are already successful,” Kitagawa said.

“I am pretty happy about the innovations I saw today.”

Lenovo innovations included a smartphone with a shatterproof screen, which Kutcher demonstrated by dropping a handset from high above the stage.

“Customers drop phones a lot,” Lenovo chief technology officer Peter Hortensius said during the demonstration.

“This gave us an idea. What about a screen that won’t break?”

Hortensius also provided a peek at work Lenovo is doing on smartphones and tablets that can bend.

YouTube star Meghan McCarthy wrapped a prototype smartphone around one wrist like a bracelet and folded a tablet in half while watching a cat video.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“This isn’t a product yet, but it is a sign of things to come,” Hortensius told the audience.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – The World Bank has given the Kenyan government USD 60 Million (Sh6.1 billion) to help combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic...