Lenovo debuts prototype smart glasses, seeks hardware partners
Google Glass may face a new rival as Lenovo showed off its smart glasses prototype on Thursday, in an effort to attract developers and hardware partners.
The prototype looks very familiar, since it resembles Google Glass greatly. However Lenovo has moved the battery from behind the user’s ear to a pack which hangs near the neck. The prototype was produced in order to allow Lenovo to find a hardware partner and ways to attract developers to a new partner program for the headset, so we could expect a change in design before general launch.
According to PC World, the company will release more details on the device in October. So far it has not provided any information on hardware specs or features of the new smart glasses. In addition to revealing the prototype, Lenovo also confirmed that it is partnering with U.S. smart glasses maker Vuzix to bring its own smart glasses, the M100, to China. Aimed at business users, the headset houses a 1GHz dual-core processor running Android 4.0.4 and will go on sale to developers for 8000 yuan ($1,298) in August or September.
The Chinese company has also established a new ‘NBD‘ program, seeking to partner with companies on smart devices. It plans to develop products ranging from wireless routers to air purifiers for its home market and hopes to team up or even invest in tech companies to work on products and extend its reach beyond PCs and smartphones.
“Right now there are too many kinds of devices you can develop for the Internet of Things. It’s too rich. Not one company can do it all,” said Chen Xudong, Lenovo senior vice president.
The company’s new NBD platform will offer funding, manufacturing, hardware research and other logistical support to its partners. Chen adds that the company hopes to use “Lenovo’s advantages to combine with innovators” and that the platform will help partners “quickly start selling products, and create a supply chain for the market.”