Have we hit the end of the road when it comes to innovation in smartphones? Many of us would say yes, as manufacturers scramble to make near identical slabs of glass that all somehow look more and more like an iPhone.
Lenovo, meanwhile – a brand better known for ThinkPad laptops and Yoga tablets – have been working on something genuinely cool and different. They gave Gadgette’s sister site The Memo a sneak peek of the Smart Cast, a new smartphone concept complete with a built-in projector.
The Smart Cast’s body resembles an everyday smartphone, with a slick projector built into the top of the device.
You don’t have to focus the projector, and the projected image can turn surfaces into touchscreens, making your humble dinner table into a sci-fi virtual keyboard. Take a look at it in action:
This cutting-edge technology was brought to Europe for the first time at Berlin’s IFA tech trade show, and Lenovo’s engineers told us they hope to launch it as early as next August.
We were skeptical about whether the touchscreen functionality would work as well as you’d need it to for daily use – but it’s surprisingly good. Unlike the Touchjet Pond, which The Memo reviewed earlier this year, the Smart Cast recognises your fingers and does away with the need for cumbersome touch pens.
Lenovo already offer their popular Yoga line of tablets with built-in projectors, but after acquiring the Motorola brand last year, the company has yet to bring their smartphone range to Europe. Fingers crossed this one’s on its way to our shores eventually.
Main image: Lenovo
This article originally appeared on The Memo on September 3rd, 2015.