Lenovo’s trying to solve the smartwatch’s biggest issue, make projecting smartphones viable

Smartwatches are everywhere right now, but there’s no getting around the fact that screen size is a massive limitation.

Lenovo today announced its plan to get around that issue. At the company’s TechWorld conference, the company showed off Smart Magic, its concept for a multi-screen smartwatch.

The watch, which a way off from launch, contains a standard screen — so you can view notifications as you would on any other smartwatch — but also has a second projector-style screen. Lenovo claims that this second screen can project images and videos onto the human eye, so that they appear 20 times larger than they do on a smartwatch screen.

Despite the fact that it’s only really a concept at this point, Lenovo did have demo models on display at the event.

That may not have been the best idea, as they didn’t so much create a sense of excitement around the technology as provide a reminder of how far away it is from being ready.

When Gearburn tried out the model watches on display, we had to hold the secondary display screen right up to our eyes and the images were, well, disappointing.

While the motion-sensing technology worked fine, the screen appeared to have the same kind of resolution as the first colour-screen TVs.

If it’s to really overcome the limitations of the smartwatch, then it’ll require either the ability to effectively project holograms or project directly to your retina over a reasonable distance. And that, for now, is still very much in the realms of speculation.

The Smart Magic wasn’t the only projection-based technology the company showed off today either. It also announced Smart Cast, its attempt at making smartphones with built-in projectors viable.

The pico-projector, it claims, is a third smaller than any others currently on the market. Although also a concept, it appears a lot further along than the smartwatch.

The projector can be rotated to project onto a desk (where it can also be used as a touch screen), wall, or ceiling.

Both products are in line with the direction the company’s been taking of late, as evidenced by the inclusion of a projector in its Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro when that launched in late 2014.



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