Lenovo unveils AI assistant for smart home experience

Las Vegas: Aiming to make smart home experiences more accessible, Chinese tech giant Lenovo on Thursday unveiled a Smart Assistant with Amazons Artificial Intelligence (AI) device Alexa at the ongoing 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017) here.

Apart from the assistant, Lenovo also launched Smart Storage, Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller and Lenovo Phab 2 Pro smartphone apps for a better Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences.

“After conducting a series of studies on consumers’ pain points and needs, the company designed the Lenovo Smart Assistant — a new digital personal assistant with Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice services” Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of Global Marketing, User and Customer Experience Lenovo PC and Smart Device Business Group, told IANS.

Built in collaboration with Amazon, the Lenovo Smart Assistant recognises users’ voice commands to conduct web searches, play music, calendar reminders, among many other functions.

“We collaborated with Amazon because Alexa is pretty good and people are comfortable with it. Other reason was the price point. Other devices are available for a much higher price but we kept it low to make technology available to the masses,” Bhatia noted.

The assistant is also designed to run Lenovo smart home devices as well as scores of existing third-party products to expand user options.

“We are also launching the Harman Kardon Edition at a higher price point that has better speakers with Alexa technology,” Bhatia noted.

The company also unveiled Lenovo Smart Storage — a secure digital storage solution with 6TB capacity, dual-band wireless access and multi-device auto-sync capabilities.

Designed for security and P2P (peer-to-peer) access to stored media like photos, music and documents, Smart Storage offers users quick control of data and files.

The Chinese giant also launched Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller — a wireless keyboard and mouse that fits in the palm.

The device improves the way people connect to PCs and web and re-defines how a compact, Human Interface Device (HID) should look, feel and function.

The keyboard area doubles as a Windows 10 gesture-supported, multi-touch capacitive touchpad — meaning that users can type like a normal keypad with their thumbs or glide their fingers across the surface like a touchpad.

Lenovo also expanded its phablet segment with world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone — Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.

The device, which is now available online and on offline platforms, unlocks mobile AR experiences for smartphone users, offering the optimal Tango experience for new apps.

To enable Tango, the device is equipped with a set of sensors that capture 250,000 measurements a second, processing information through motion tracking, area learning and depth sensing.

Lenovo Smart Assistant, which starts at $129.99, will be available in light gray, green and orange colours in May. The Lenovo Smart Assistant Harman Kardon Edition starts at $179.99.

Lenovo Smart Storage starts at $139.99 and will be available in May while Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller price range starts from $54.99 and will be available in March.