#Transformation Tuesday: Why We Like Projector Tech

It’s been more than a decade since “appointment viewing” ruled the living room: if you wanted to catch your favorite TV show, you’d either record it on your VCR or make sure you were on the couch exactly at 8pm. My how technology changes user behavior. Today, besides DVR, more and more people are using tablets to consume the ever-growing volume of digital streaming and on-demand media: photos, videos, games…you name it.

We found in a study1 that 88 percent of people are consuming large amounts of digital content on tablets at home, and more than half of them watch TV several times a week on their tablet. This validated a problem – how do you get a great visual content experience on a relatively small device? We had to find a way to deliver a bigger screen experience while preserving tablet portability.

Our solution: the first tablet to integrate a Pico Projector – the YOGA Tablet. With the projector you can beam a 16:9 high resolution image onto a surface for an instant 50-inch theater experience. What’s more – we engineered an innovative cylindrical handle to house an 18-hour battery, necessary for video buffs. 

Original YOGA Tablet 2 Pro with Pico projector

Customers loved the projector, and their reaction helped spur integration of projectors into other products. For the past two years, our R&D teams have refined that technology and looked for the best opportunities to deliver a bigger, more sharable display to different customers – even business users. Earlier this year we launched our first module-based tablet, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, which features swappable modules for extreme productivity, including a projector so you can easily present and share your screen.

Lenovo Smart Cast 

We’re also looking at which future products could benefit from a projector, and started with our Smart Cast smartphone concept product unveiled at Tech World 2015.

Equipped with an infrared camera sensor, the Smart Cast projector displays a virtual keyboard and responds to user gestures like typing. If brought to market, these type of advancements in projector technology will allow us to move beyond the traditional limitations of a physical device. Imagine – any tabletop or flat surface could be instantly turned into a keyboard for greater productivity and flexibility. You can see its potential brought to life in this virtual piano-playing demo from Tech World 2015.

As we as consumers continue to choose extremely mobile multimedia-optimized devices, I expect we’re going to see more and more products with second-screen capabilities, integrated or attachable – whether it’s a smartphone with a camera/projector combination, a laptop that projects a bigger display or even a projector that can be bought as a stand-alone device, like our pocket Pico projector.

See more of what we’ve got in store for projection technology at Tech World 2016 on the livestream on June 9 at www.YouTube.com/lenovo and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Lenovo for more updates.

1 Lenovo study 2013. Market data CEA 2013 US tablet users.