Why Lenovo’s foray in the smart home space is important

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Lenovo is a household name when it comes down to the PCs, however, PCs haven’t been a growth market for almost a decade now. The Chinese giant’s attempts in the smartphone space have also been lukewarm at best with it botching the Motorola brand, even though its India chief Rahul Agrawal claims that it has been in the green for the last couple of quarters which is indeed impressive. So with all this context, its next jump in the smart-home space becomes almost existential for the iconic Chinese PC maker. Now that it brings its entire smart-home portfolio to India, this is an important development as it can help drive the smart home ecosystem in the country which is largely restricted to a handful of platform companies as of now.

What did they launch

  1. Lenovo smart clock
  2. Lenovo smart display (two sizes)
  3. Lenovo smart bulb
  4. Lenovo smart camera

Why is are these important

  1. The Smart-home concept has been around for years but thanks to technology brands like Google and Amazon in recent years there has been some proliferation. Unfortunately, support these platforms has just come in spades with Xiaomi pulling its weight behind the smart home concept leveraging Google’s assistant while smaller players like Syska and Philips providing underpinning solutions in the lighting space. Lenovo is the first big-ticket OEM outside of Xiaomi to wholeheartedly embrace this concept which will drive more competition and spawn cheaper and more innovative products while also importantly grow the category.
  2. Lenovo has something interesting to say here. For instance, the smart clock doesn’t have a camera because it is a product meant for the bedroom. The smart display has a big screen, powerful speakers and even a front-facing camera for Google Duo calls — there is real utility here – it can be used in the kitchen or the dining room or even the living room. The smart camera has not only a 355-degree field of view but it has a microphone and speaker which can be used properly to remotely keep an eye on an infant or perhaps even sing it a lullaby to put it to sleep. These are real word use-cases that most manufacturers haven’t dreamed up. Lenovo isn’t talking up tech here, it is creating utility.
  3. Lenovo being a global brand can supercharge development between Google and Amazon, the two backend platforms for smart-homes if it starts selling these products at scale. Considering Lenovo’s prodigious hardware pedigree, a new type of products will also come out — a more recent example can be seen in the showcase of the Moto Razr which borrows hinge technology from Lenovo’s Yoga laptop group.
  4. Net-net, the success of these new products isn’t just important for the future of smart homes in India, but they also are central to the Chinese company which has fallen flat on its feat far too often whenever it has branched out of PCs.

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