Lenovo, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, has been known in recent days for its acquisition of once Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Recent information gathered in post-Motorola sale days shows that Lenovo wanted Motorola as far back as last Fall, but certain complications prevented Lenovo’s ambitions from coming to fruition.
Lenovo’s expressed its interest in not only PCs, but also smartphones and tablets, and the company’s introduced a few models at Mobile World Congress earlier this Spring. Now, Lenovo’s back to stick it to search engine giant Google once more – by creating a Google Glass opponent.
Lenovo’s teaming up with smart glasses manufacturer Vuzix to bring the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses directly to China for the first time. The M100 smart glasses will be co-branded, with the label “Vuzix 100 Smart Glasses powered by Lenovo NBD” and will include mapping, voice recognition, Chinese language(s), and local cloud-based services.
The opportunity and time are ripe for Vuzix and Lenovo according to Vuzix CEO Paul Travers: “China is a significant milestone for us and for the wearable industry. Lenovo is world renowned for its high quality products and exceptional engineering, making them the most ideal partner with which to bring our M100 Smart Glasses to China…we hope the M100 is just the first in a line of future products the companies may introduce together incorporating Vuzix’ video eyewear technology for sale in China and perhaps elsewhere.”
The Vuzix/Lenovo smart glasses will run Android 4.0.4 and be powered by a 1Ghz, dual-core processor. China customers will pay 8000 yuan ($1298USD) for a pair of Vuzix-Lenovo smart glasses.
Lenovo will start marketing the M100 smart glasses immediately and sales will commence this September. There’s no word currently on whether or not Lenovo will bring them to the US, UK, or other international countries, but Lenovo would certainly break up Google’s party if it did. Google Glass is looking better every day, but the $1,500 price tag is still a turnoff for most tech enthusiast consumers who’re dying to purchase smart glasses currently. $1298 isn’t much better for a pair of glasses, but it’s still a nice discount. Could Lenovo offer a combination of M100 smart glasses and Lenovo smartphones/tablets?
China will be the market to first receive the Vuzix M100 smart glasses, but hopefully not the last. The “Lenovo NBD” branding refers to Lenovo’s New Business Development platform.
Lenovo’s the only major manufacturer we know of (at this point) that’s creating something akin to Google Glass. Samsung’s so-called Google Glass competitor turned out to be a VR headset (dubbed Gear VR) that the Korean manufacturer will announce in September, right before the IFA 2014 Berlin Conference. Sony’s prepared to introduce its own Morpheus VR headset at some point in the future, but Lenovo’s new Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses will provide the only Google Glass alternative for now.