Lenovo brought a collection of new devices to CES 2018, including a set of devices aimed at making (virtual) reality better. The most interesting of these are the Mirage Solo Headset and Camera as well as the Lenovo C220 smart glasses.
Show me the VR
The Lenovo Mirage Solo is a virtual reality headset, based on Google’s Daydream technology, which combines immersive VR with a simple-to-use device. A simple-to-use standalone device, as the Mirage Solo doesn’t need a phone to function. It incorporates its own Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, as well as a microSD slot if you’re keen on uploading your own VR video from a VR camera — like the Lenovo Mirage Camera with Daydream (more on that later). Oh, and a headphone jack for audio.
Lenovo teamed up with Google Daydream’s virtual reality platform to put out their WorldSense motion-tracking technology. WorldSense allows users to (fairly) safely move though actual space with fewer restrictions when ducking out of the way of virtual obstacles. WorldSense doesn’t require additional cameras or external sensors to tell where you are and it seems like it’ll still account for the world around you — we’d still prefer to see that in action first, though. On the (confirmed) plus side, no wires to trip over.
If you are not quite sure what content you want to experience, just create your own VR content with the Lenovo Mirage Camera with Daydream. This is a portable dual 13 MP fisheye camera that has a 180 x 180° field of view, built-in WiFi and X9 LTE. The Lenovo Mirage Camera’s photos and videos can be uploaded to a personal Google Photos or YouTube account to view or share and content can be viewed on a standard browser, on the Mirage Solo with Daydream headset or on most other popular VR headsets.
Through the smart glass
For something completely different, if still face-based, Lenovo has their crack at AR on show at CES with the Lenovo C220 smart glasses. They bear a passing resemblance to Google’s Glass headset, but with some significant differences.
The Lenovo New Glass C220 system consists of a glass unit and a pocket unit powered by AI and capable of recognising real-world objects as a result, something that we’re seeing more and more often from mobile AI systems . Systems with cameras. When systems without cameras start doing it, we plan to panic.
The glasses run on Android and users experience AR in one eye, while keeping the other on reality. The C220 system seems geared towards industrial or mechanical tasks, with features like being able to remotely troubleshoot broken devices or follow repair instructions being major selling points of these glasses. Who knows, perhaps one day we could use these to be our own mechanics.
What we haven’t been told is when to expect them and what they’ll cost, though a vague price of less than $400 (R5,000) for the Mirage Solo was mentioned. Which isn’t cheap but it’d still be the cheapest standalone VR headset on the market today. That might be worth forking out for.