Chinese computer giant Lenovo Group Limited (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) recently unveiled its latest prototype device that could rival Google Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Glass in form and function. The still unnamed device looks almost identical to Google Glass yet hopes to better Google’s smart eyewear by featuring a separate battery pack that can be worn around the user’s neck. This would offer benefits over the Google Glass’ shorter battery life, BBC reported.
The device was one of many that Lenovo had on display at the event to showcase its larger NBD platform. NBD (meaning “New Bench” in Chinese) is a platform for connecting smart devices and has been at the centre of Lenovo’s mission to create products outside its main line of PCs and smartphones, a report by TechRadar said.
Lenovo overtook HP as the world’s largest PC seller in 2013.
The PC maker now wants to use the NBD platform to work with hardware partners in expanding its line of products to include smart glasses, wireless routers and air purifiers.
The company said it needed help from other technology companies to realize its dream of a future of “Internet of things” on the NBD platform and hopes to encourage other companies to make devices on the same platform.
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"Right now there are too many kinds of devices you can develop for the Internet of things. It's too rich. Not one company can do it all," said Chen Xudong, Lenovo's senior vice president told PC World magazine, the BBC reported.
The “Internet of things” is the concept of connecting all the devices around us -- our smart phones, TVs, fridges, etc. -- to the Internet. This will lead to “connected homes,” where household appliances can be controlled by smartphone applications, and “smart” household appliances will react to their surroundings, like a heater turning on when it senses your presence at home.
Currently, the biggest challenge to the growth of “the Internet of things” is the complete lack of compatibility faced by users when using connected devices made by different companies. Today’s connected devices use different platforms and standards and aren’t able to connect or “talk to each other.”
Lenovo attempts to solve this problem with the NBD system. Other than its own smart glasses, Lenovo is also is working on another device with Vuzix Corp (CVE:VZX). NBD has also caught the attention of a German electronics manufacturer to produce Luftmed, an affordable, smartphone-controlled air purifier.
Products developed on the NBD platform will be sold in China first, after which Lenovo may bring the devices to other parts of the world .
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google are also investing in the "Internet of things." Google recently purchased Nest, a smart thermostat device, while Apple announced HomeKit, a platform for developers to write software programs to help users control household appliances.