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Looking Through the Keyhole with Lenovo's 'Magic View' Smartwatch Concept

by Cliff Raskind | 5月 29, 2015

Lenovo shined the light on several innovative product concepts at their Tech World event this week in Beijing. This included a dual-screen smartwatch concept called Magic View.

Magic View (seen below) offers a second rectangular display angled and offset from the primary watchface display. The device runs an Android one-off rather than Wear and otherwise looks like an evolved Moto360.

lennovo virtual interactive display

A simple two-finger downward swipe can transfer content from the primary screen to the micro-display, which can then be privately (though not very discretely it must be said) viewed when held up to the eye. Imagery can appear 20x larger on the second screen and the micro-display offers a field-of-vision that is unprecedented in a smartwatch. Additionally, if the user looks left or right, the image will shift accordingly, allowing further exploration of imagery like photos, manuals and maps. Whether this is enabled via eye-tracking or accelerometer is at this point unclear.

We can envision use cases for early tech adopters, and certainly within the enterprise where the expanded field-of-vision coupled with privacy and security could be highly valued. Consider a repair person accessing service reference materials in the field while laying on his/her back with both hands in use (possibly an alternative to smartglasses). Also consider the security possibilities for an alternate form of two-factor authentication if retina authentication is available to leverage.

Still, employing such micro-displays on smartwatches may ultimately prove to be a non-starter or flawed concept due to any number of reasons. Power consumption for a second display is a concern. The added bulk and lack of style could be a consumer showstopper, and let's not forget the spectacle of many people with their watches up against their eyes and the new medical disorders that might result. Perhaps most importantly is a lack of utility if a larger smartphone screen is handy. However, it must be said that Lenovo's vision and willingness to publicly experiment demonstrates real leadership in wearables.

Strategy Analytics smartwatch forecast for 88 countries is available to Wearable Device Ecosystem subscribers (WDE).
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