Lenovo open to making a HoloLens competitor

Lenovo is closely monitoring the virtual and augmented reality markets, CTO Peter Hortensius says

Microsoft's HoloLens hasn't even hit the market yet, but the idea of Lenovo bringing out a virtual-reality headset competitor is not at all far-fetched, according to the company's chief technology officer, Peter Hortensius.

"We're comfortable with bringing these kinds of things to market as customer demand grows," Hortensius said in an interview with the IDG News Service.

The concept of virtual reality is already becoming popular, but Hortensius is especially hot on augmented reality, in which virtual objects are superimposed on top of the physical world via a headset like HoloLens. VR and AR are going to be big, and Lenovo wants to be a part of the fast-growing market, Hortensius said.

Lenovo works closely with Microsoft, and Hortensius said HoloLens gives a good view on where the AR market is headed.

Aside from hinting at a possible device, Hortensius didn't give specifics about how the company would develop and release AR hardware. He said Lenovo was proud of whipping up innovations at a fast pace, indicating that developing a headset wouldn't be an issue.

Another option would be to license Microsoft's proprietary HoloLens technology, which supports Windows 10, as a platform for AR. But Hortensius said Lenovo is capable of bringing out homegrown devices if the market dictates, much like it has in the past with PCs, TVs and mobile devices.

Lenovo has invested a lot in its research labs, which have helped advance laptop and server technologies. Some key innovations in laptops, tablets and screens were shown off by Lenovo at CES this week.

There will be many uses for AR beyond just cool visual and gaming experiences, Hortensius said. It could be useful in commercial applications, particularly in training and troubleshooting, Hortensius said.

Microsoft has shown HoloLens helping medical students understand human anatomy. A 3D structure of the body was superimposed on the HoloLens field of vision, and medical students could navigate through the body. That could also help train students in surgery.

Lenovo isn't the only company considering VR and AR. HP is chasing "blended reality" through a strategy that involves the creation, manipulation and printing of 3D objects. Dell's Alienware X51 is being advertised as VR-ready, and will be available with an optional Oculus Rift headset.

Immersive reality experiences, which combine AR and VR, could be key in Lenovo breaking into the tight community of gamers. Lenovo is already creating its first game, a crowdsourced action game called Game State. The company at CES also released a PC and monitor from its partnership with gaming hardware company Razer.

Some companies offer an entire range of products -- PCs to monitors -- for gamers, but Lenovo doesn't have a gaming tablet. When questioned on whether Lenovo company would introduce one, Hortensius said a gaming tablet "makes sense. We'll see over time."

Products shown by Lenovo at CES include the innovative ThinkPad X1 Tablet, which can be customized to fit individual needs. Customers can add or remove features by snapping on modules at the bottom of the device. Right now Lenovo offers projector, battery and media modules, and new ones could be added if there's customer demand, Hortensius said.

Lenovo also was the first vendor at CES this week to announce a hybrid with an OLED screen -- its ThinkPad X1 Yoga.

Hortensius said the company will continue to add new features to computing devices. One heavily talked about feature is wireless charging, but he said that could take a while to reach PCs.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags playworkliveCES 2016

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?