Lenovo’s Smart Home & Entertainment
The Lenovo™ 500 Multimedia Controller: Controlling Today’s Digital Home
Rapid, sophisticated evolution in home entertainment has led to a challenge few foresaw: the need for an innovative device that
integrates, controls and ultimately makes the most of all that change.
Last year, the explosive growth of Internet-enabled smart TVs officially outpaced their conventional TV counterparts, with more than
half of TV sets shipped being smart TVs.1 Meanwhile, the meteoric rise of 4K TVs has some analysts predicting that as many as onethird of US homes will own a 4K TV by 2019.2 Today’s consumers want a complete multimedia experience that makes the most of
large-screen displays, high-performance PCs, interactive technologies and everything the Internet and content providers have to
A recent survey Lenovo showed that almost half of respondents connect to an external display at least weekly.3 However, this new
aggregation of displays, computers and devices creates a frustrating challenge around controlling them, often forcing consumers to
use different devices to tap into different contents and functions.
Swipe and Surf
Using feedback from those same frustrated consumers, our team built the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller, a state-of-the-art
wireless keyboard and mouse that fits in the palm of your hand. The controller dramatically improves not just the way homeowners
connect to their PCs, the web and displays, but re-defines the very notion of how a compact, Human Interface Device (HID) should
look, feel and function.
Let’s start with the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller’s keyboard, with its entire area doubling as a Windows® 10 gesturesupported,
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.
No more having to awkwardly hold the controller while shifting your hands to reach the keys or touchpad. The Lenovo 500
Multimedia Controller is designed for your thumbs to reach every key on the keypad as well as control the touchpad – all with one
grip. Its distinctive design means users can employ the swipes, gestures and clicks typically associated with navigating menus, surfing
content and opening applications. Yet, they can also use their thumbs to rapid-fire message family and friends, key in search terms,
enter passwords and more.
Rigorous user testing of early controller concepts resulted in design features that include a conveniently curved backbone for ease of
pickup from flat surfaces (hint: coffee and end tables), an absence of sharp edges for a comfortable grip and keys that are easily
accessible to both thumbs.
Designed for the Commander’s Seat
Let’s not forget that many home theaters occupy entire rooms rather than a single corner of the family room – meaning there can
be a large distance between the audience and controller to the display. And even when a home lacks a home theater, these
connected displays are likely situated at one end of the large, open floor plan designs that are increasingly popular with today’s
The result? Where the typical 32.8 ft (10 m) range of conventional wireless remotes won’t suffice, the Lenovo 500 Multimedia
Controller offers up to 65.6 ft (20 m)4 of wireless range.
We should add that users can even take the sleek and lightweight 0.31 lbs (141 g)5 Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller to the office
with them and use it for large-screen or even dual-screen presentations.
We don’t anticipate any slowdown in the digital and architectural evolution of the modern home. Lenovo’s goal in anticipating and
occasionally mitigating these changes remains the same: to listen and learn from customers to co-create solutions for their needs.
Raising the IQ of Today’s Smart Home
The smart home market is at the cusp of exponential growth. By 2019, Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturers are expected to ship nearly two billion smart home devices to the tune of $490 billion in revenue. Yet, the budding industry has yet to race towards full, mainstream adoption leaving us wondering– why have so many consumers been slow to embrace smart home technologies?
The reason is two-fold. First is the high cost barrier to owning IoT devices. Nearly two-thirds of consumer’s worldwide think IoT devices and services are too expensive – making price the number one hurdle to smart device ownership.2 And second, is the lack of customer-centric design in the development of these products – leading to consumer confusion about which IoT device best serves their needs. A recent survey revealed at least 23 percent of global consumers expressed uncertainty as to which smart home device would be useful to them.
Teaming Up with Amazon
With these consumer needs and pain points in mind, we designed the Lenovo Smart Assistant, a new mainstream digital personal assistant with Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice services. Built in collaboration with Amazon, the elegantly designed Lenovo Smart Assistant recognizes users’ voice commands and uses Alexa to conduct web searches, play music, create lists, provide calendar updates and much more. And because Alexa’s brains are in the cloud, it means she’s always getting smarter.
Based on our own user surveys, we know that 65 percent of people around the world already use voice recognition technology on their phone, PC or tablet – and that a third of them do so because it’s more convenient than typing and useful when multitasking (cooking dinner, getting dressed for work, etc.).
That’s why we built the Lenovo Smart Assistant with eight 360-degree far-field microphones with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation – designed to pick up users’ voice commands from up to 16 feet (5 meters) away.
Additionally, the device comes with the option of a special Harman Kardon® edition for premium audio quality for music and home entertainment. The Lenovo Smart Assistant is also designed to run Lenovo smart home devices as well as scores of existing third-party products to expand consumers’ options.
Smartifying Every Home
“Our goal has never been to simply build smart home devices for the sake of advancing technology alone,” says Johnson Jia, Lenovo’s senior vice president, PC & Smart Device Business Group. “In the same way a person’s IQ is measured by applied knowledge, we believe products are ‘smart’ to the degree they’re actually understood and applied to daily life by their users.”
“We’re excited to work with an innovative company such as Lenovo to bring the Lenovo Smart Assistant with Alexa to customers this spring,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa. “At Amazon, we work hard to provide customers with as much choice as possible—and Lenovo’s new Smart Assistant speaker does just that through leveraging the power of Alexa Voice Services (AVS). We can’t wait for customers to try this out later this year.”
Lenovo Smart Storage
Rounding out our mainstream smart home offerings is Lenovo Smart Storage, a secure digital storage solution with massive 6TB5 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, Lenovo Smart Storage offers users quick control of their data and files. Its integrated facial recognition software can organize your entire photo library based on faces with high accuracy.
The overall IoT market in 2020 is expected to reach a staggering $1.7 trillion, with much of that growth transitioning from the work place to the home.6 And by 2025, IoT may create up to $11.1 trillion per year in potential economic impact. 7 At Lenovo, we aim to be at the forefront of this growth. The Lenovo Smart Assistant and Smart Storage are just the beginning. We’ll continue to work collaboratively with customers to imagine, design and build smart home products that they want, can afford and will use – with the vision to fundamentally improve every aspect of their home life.
All Lenovo products are available on www.lenovo.com.
Lenovo Smart Assistant starts at $129.99, available in Light Gray, Green and Orange beginning inMay 2017.
Lenovo Smart Assistant Harman Edition starts at $179.99, available beginning in May 2017.
Lenovo Smart Storage starts at $139.99, available beginning in May 2017.