Orlando, US, May 13, 2019 — Lenovo introduces new ThinkReality brand which initially consists of the new A6 headset for enterprise augmented reality (AR) and a platform solution to run on. The A6 headset has gotten lighter and more usable as the computing unit is now an external device that can be worn on the arm, clipped to the belt, or elsewhere.
A platform not only for Lenovo components
The Lenovo ThinkReality platform has been developed to allow enterprises to scale their AR operations without roadblocks. Many organizations already have VR, AR, or MR technology running as test projects and pilots. The Lenovo platform now addresses any such projects that have been running successfully at a small scale to enable them to go further.
ThinkReality allows enterprises to build, deploy, and manage the software applications as well as the hardware devices. It’s also worth noting that Lenovo decided to remain vendor agnostic and allows not only Lenovo gear to enter the ThinkReality platform.
What does the new A6 AR headset bring?
The last time we went to a Lenovo event, we were fortunate enough to try out their Mirage headset and the Star Wars game that they have prepared together with Disney. This time around the focus is more on enterprise and industrial use-cases.
The ThinkReality A6 headset is a lot lighter than other headsets as the computing power was taken out of the actual headset to wear it on an arm strap or you could clip it to your belt. Comfort and user experience is, of course, relevant when you’re going to make workers wear the device for a couple of hours, so this was an exciting move.
Lumus produces the optics, and their Waveguide parts allow for a 1080p60 resolution per eye and a 40° diagonal field of view at 16:9 ratio. They use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 as a system-on-chip (SoC) CPU together with an Intel Movidius VPU (vision processing unit) to power the displays. All of that runs on the Android Oreo operating system, and the headset itself weighs only 380g (0.83lbs).
For the design of the ThinkReality A6 headset, Lenovo has also already received the Red Dot Award 2019 and the iF Design Award.
What’s the use-case here?
This system is useful when you need experts to complete tasks aided by a hands-free device that supports them to do their job. Think about engineers assembling machines or technicians fixing something. They can communicate with a remote expert who could advise them what to do as they share their vision with them or utilize software which identifies parts and provides them instructions through audio or projected on their head-mounted display.
Use-cases like that are not new but the improved A6 hardware, paired with the ThinkReality platform, ensures that enterprises can adapt to these new methods of getting work done a lot better and scale their operations. There is a lot of money to be saved by improving and speeding up the overall workflow and process of manual labor of expert workforce.
Availability and pricing
As far as availability goes, Lenovo confirms, “ThinkReality is launching as a Developer Program with global enterprise accounts. ThinkReality A6 will have a limited release in the 3rd quarter of 2019.” Lenovo has not yet presented any information on the pricing of the ThinkReality A6 AR headsets or the licensing model of the ThinkReality platform.
Expert commentary and outlook
I talked to Suzanne Lee, founder of Pivotal Reality and expert in the space of VR/AR about the new solution from Lenovo and she commented, “the announcement of the new ThinkReality device and software platform from Lenovo is a welcomed one.
Lenovo has consistently delivered across the immersive hardware spectrum to date and the ThinkReality headset will be a good addition. Innovating their platform so that it is accessible regardless of which headset is worn is a fantastic move for their brand but also for supporting the immersive industry as a whole. I’m looking forward to seeing it launch”.
YouTube: ThinkReality In Action at Accelerate 2019
Photo credit: Photos were taken by Christopher Isak for TechAcute. The product images are owned by Lenovo.
Source: Author attended an invite-only press event. Lenovo also published a press release.
Editorial notice: All travel arrangements have been managed by Lenovo.