Lenovo Enters A Joint Venture With Kopin To Create AR Headsets

by David Jagneaux • January 10th, 2017

Lenovo made a lot of headlines last week during CES with its variety of laptop and desktop computers, lackluster VR upscaling, and the (non-functional) debut of their Windows holographic VR headset. Through it all though, one bit of news went a bit under the radar, as the company announced they’ll be joining forces with wearable technology developer, Kopin Corporation, to craft cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) headsets. The combined efforts will be brought under the new banner of Lenovo New Vision.

Also during  CES, Lenovo unveiled its New Glass C200 Smart Glasses, but this doesn’t appear to be directly related to the Lenovo New Vision announcement. This does however put Lenovo’s brand on separate pieces of both AR and VR headset technology, a move that’s relatively unique in these early stages of the immersive mixed reality market. Details were sparse regarding exactly what they’d be creating under the Lenovo New Vision name, what the form factor of the devices should entail, or how they would be used, but it’s an interesting development nonetheless.

“AR/VR is the next generation technology that will change the world after PC Internet and mobile Internet,” said Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group President, George He, in a prepared statement. “It is a required technology investment direction for virtually every enterprise. We truly value the cooperation with Kopin, and believe that this cooperation can further accelerate the growth of the enterprise AR market by bringing users optimized products and services.”

According to the release, the Kopin Corporation will primarily be responsible for supplying Lenovo with capital investment, industrial designs and know-how, as well as specific materials such as micro-displays, optics, software, and Whisper® Voice Chip.

At CES, we did see some big products in the AR space, such as ODG’s stylish glasses and the surprisingly wide field-of-view on Lumus’ AR solution. Of course Meta 2 was also on display and the Microsoft HoloLens continues to sustain its prominence in the AR display market, with Magic Leap slowly rumbling away in the dark corners of the industry, forever shrouded in secrecy.

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