Austin, Texas, was the setting for Lenovo Tech World 2023, its 9th Global event, where the tech giant showcased its forward-thinking A.I. capabilities, aiming to revolutionise the way we live, work, and travel.
Lenovo Tech World 2023
Tech World is not like many of the tech events I report on throughout the year. Lenovo has a vast array of devices and technology it could have displayed during the one-day event here in Austin, but Lenovo Tech World 2023 was focused on sharing the company’s vision of the technology landscape of the future.
And that, along with every other major tech brand, centres around Artificial intelligence, or A.I.
Embracing the ethos of ‘A.I. for All’, Lenovo’s A.I. vision is not confined to the tech-savvy elite or enterprise-level offerings. Instead, it’s an inclusive solution tailored for individuals and organisations, regardless of size.
To demonstrate its commitment to A.I. for All, Lenovo Tech World 2023 followed hot on the heels of its Q1 earnings report, which included a substantial US$1 billion investment in A.I. innovation.
A Vision for All
The event started with a 2-hour keynote session with a very poignant demonstration of the Libras Project. This innovation, deeply rooted in computer vision and a bespoke A.I. engine, seamlessly interprets Libras, Brazil’s official sign language, in real-time, promising a future where communication barriers are a thing of the past.
The demo saw Gabriel, a software developer, engage in an exchange with Lenovo’s CEO, Yuanqing Yang. While Yuanqing was unfamiliar with Libras, the A.I. technology captured the movements of Gabriel’s hand gestures. It provided an instantaneous voice and text translation, fostering an almost unbroken conversation between the two.
Suppose the technology powering the Libras project can filter down into the mainstream. In that case, readily available devices, such as ThinkPads, Tablets, or a Motorola handset, can be utilised to diminish another language barrier.
How amazing would it be to join a Zoom call where those reliant on Sign Language could participate the same as everyone else?
Travelling Smart with A.I.
For frequent travellers, navigating unfamiliar environments, adjusting to different time zones, or managing itineraries can often be stressful. But imagine a world where A.I. seamlessly integrates into your travel experience.
Whilst there was no single big product announcement during Lenovo Tech World 2023, their A.I. vision, along with the broader industry focus, could be a game-changer.
Personalised Travel Assistance: A.I. can assist travellers by offering personalised travel suggestions, from booking flights that align with individual preferences to suggesting restaurants or events at the destination. For business and frequent travellers, A.I. can curate personalised travel packages to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Efficient Navigation: A.I. can guide travellers through unfamiliar airports, helping them locate gates, lounges, or amenities, all while offering real-time updates on flight statuses. This is already finding a way into airport terminals, such as the work Delta is doing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).
Streamline Operations: Behind the hustle and bustle of every airport, A.I. could be at work predicting travel trends, helping businesses optimise pricing, manage inventory, and improve overall efficiency. This would be beneficial for both businesses and travellers alike.
Security and Privacy: Lenovo emphasises data security. Their A.I. solutions ensure no personal information is shared publicly, making it a safe companion for travellers who value their privacy. Yet, the industry as a whole is going to have to prove to consumers any A.I. platform or software is secure. More so due to recent High-Profile hacks at major airline websites and, just this summer, at hotels across the Las Vegas Strip.
Language Barriers Broken: For those travelling to foreign countries where language can be a barrier, A.I. can instantly translate signs, menus, or conversations, making interactions smoother. The Libras Project could be the start of what is possible!
Lenovo’s A.I. vision isn’t a solo endeavour. During Lenovo Tech World 2023, collaborations with industry leaders like NVIDIA, AMD, Microsoft and Formula One were all highlighted, and whilst none of them directly referenced devices we use to travel with, they are set to amplify the potential of A.I.
These partnerships aim to provide powerful, tailored, and energy-efficient A.I. solutions through a hybrid approach, ensuring businesses and individuals benefit from real-time, actionable insights.
A.I.-Powered Devices: The Future of Travel
Lenovo’s demonstration of the future A.I. P.C. was exciting. With A.I. interactions on keyboards and natural language processing, the concept of a personal A.I. twin or assistant could become a reality.
This A.I. assistant would evolve the voice assistants we know and use today but delve deeper into supporting and assisting travellers.
Personally, the highlight at Lenovo Tech World 2023 was the unveiling of a smartphone with an adaptive display concept.
A True Foldable Device
This foldable and moldable phone, which Lenovo went to great lengths to state was still just a concept, can be bent and shaped as per the user’s needs, merging the utility of multiple devices into one.
I was treated to a demonstration by Lexi Valasek, Strategy & Product Research at Motorola, who had led the onstage illustration during the keynote.
Despite being “just a concept”, this flexible smartphone performed exceptionally well. Often, concept devices revealed at tech events look the part but are glitchy or are just a mockup. Lenovo and Motorola, however, had a reason to brag.
The Android software adapted what was shown on the display based on how and where it was folded and dependent on which apps were open. To wrap the smartphone onto her wrist, Lexi was wearing a simple metal strap for the thin magnets to lock onto and hold the phone in place. This was the only part that felt like it was still in the concept phase.
Instead of a rigid backplate, this concept smartphone has a hardwearing fabric with components, including the battery, stored in sections that run across the width of the handset. Thus creating the flexibility for the display, which is from the current RAZR Ultra, to bend and flex.
I wonder how this technology would perform on the back of the Lenovo X1 Fold?
Lenovo Tech World 2023 Summary
Lenovo’s “A.I. for All” is not just a vision; it’s a promise of a smarter, more connected future. For travellers, it signifies a future where journeys are not just about reaching a destination but experiencing a seamless, personalised, and enhanced travel experience.
As Lenovo collaborates with global partners and continues its innovative streak, the horizon of A.I. powered travel looks promising. Whether you’re a solo traveller exploring unknown terrains or a business traveller on a tight schedule, Lenovo’s A.I. solutions are set to make travel smarter and more enjoyable.
I want to thank Lenovo for taking me to Austin to join them and experience its vision of the technological future. The professionalism and warmth exhibited by the entire Lenovo team ensured that we, as journalists, felt seamlessly integrated and valued. Finally, a big hat tip to the other Lenovo Insiders who joined me for the trip: Jacqueline Cromwell, Arthur Walker, Nikhil Chawla and Thomas Rogers.