1tango100665034orig

Lenovo just signed a chip deal that points to a VR future

On the eve of its Tech World conference in San Francisco, Lenovo has signed a deal that will allow it to bring virtual reality to more of its products in the future.

The deal allows Lenovo to use Movidius's Myriad 2 vision-processing chip in upcoming devices, bringing capabilities like head tracking, motion sensing, and image and gesture recognition to Lenovo products.

Tech World takes place Thursday, and among other announcements Lenovo is expected to provide more details about its Project Tango smartphone, a product co-developed with Google that includes augmented reality features.

Google uses Movidius technology in its own Project Tango development kit, which sells for US$512 including a tablet. It seems likely that Lenovo is using a Movidius chip in its own Project Tango smartphone, too. Lenovo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Project Tango devices use their cameras and other sensors to track motion, such as hand gestures, and they can also create a 3D map of their surroundings. The device could scan your living room, for example, and use that map as the basis for an augmented reality game.

It can also have more practical uses, like indoor navigation, or just measuring the distance from one wall to another.

"Myriad 2 is unique in its ability to deliver the kind of vision compute performance we need for our next-generation VR products," Li Xiang, Lenovo's research and technology group manager in Shanghai, said in a statement.

The Myriad 2 processor is used in DJI’s Phantom 4 autonomous drone, which can sense obstacles and make navigational decisions. It's also used in Movidius's own Fathom Neural Compute Stick, a USB stick that developers can use to bring computer vision to robots and other devices.

Lenovo already sells a headset called ANT VR, which uses a smartphone to provide VR capabilities, much like the Samsung Gear. The company has also said it's open to making a competitor to Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset -- something that will be a lot easier since Microsoft opened up the HoloLens platform to third parties.

The deal with Movidius suggests there could be a lot more Lenovo VR goodies to come.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Google Clock update adds inline volume control, vibration alerts to the timer

NEXT ARTICLE

Report: Samsung is prepping phones with bendable displays for 2017 »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

International Women's Day: We've come a long way, but there's still an awfully long way to go

Charlotte Trueman takes a diverse look at today’s tech landscape.

Trump's trade war and the FANG bubble: Good news for Latin America?

Lewis Page gets down to business across global tech

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?