Lenovo looks to print with chocolate and sell smart shoes

May 28, 2015 10:12 AM

(Bloomberg)—Ever wanted to print something in chocolate? Lenovo Group Ltd. is working on it.

The world’s biggest personal-computer maker announced the concept printer on Thursday along with a pair of Smart Shoes that can detect your mood and give directions while you walk.

Lenovo, No. 48 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, is making a greater push into new devices as a way to bolster PC and smartphone businesses that compete with Apple Inc. (No. 2) and Samsung Electronics Co., No. 360 in the Internet Retailer China 500 Guide. The company also wants to grab a greater share of the market for Internet-linked appliances that may be worth $7.1 trillion by 2020, according to International Data Corp.

“We talk to our fans everyday about how we can innovate together,” CEO Yang Yuanqing said in a statement coinciding with the Lenovo Tech World conference. “We showed some glimpses of the next wave of Lenovo innovation.”

Lenovo is using its new Internet-based business, called ShenQi, to develop products that wirelessly link home appliances and other gadgets with smartphones and tablet computers. The unit, which started operations last month, also is working on robots and drones, and Yang said in January the Beijing-based company would consider taking the division public.

The Smart Shoes unveiled Thursday resemble sneakers with neon yellow laces and soles. The shoes display the wearer’s mood, can track fitness data including heart rate and calorie consumption, and provide maps and directions.

Lenovo spent about $5 billion on acquisitions last year, including purchasing Motorola Mobility to reduce its reliance on the PC market.

In an effort to boost its smartphone business, Lenovo will offer buyers in China the opportunity to customize their phones under the Moto X brand. Users can choose the colors, memory size and materials including leather and wood for smartphones starting at 2,799 yuan ($452).

Other devices unveiled include a smartwatch with a second virtual display and a phone with its own projector.




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