Manufacturers experiment with folding laptops, compatible with 5G
Computer of the future
Computer manufacturers work tirelessly to respond to these and many other unknowns. Anticipating what users are going to demand for up to five years is the formula so that their products are not obsolete. While some brands are already experimenting with folding laptops, the IDC consultancy expects an increase in sales of convertible devices. There are also those who work on voice-controlled or 5G-compatible laptops and opt for different computer accessories: from augmented reality glasses to mice with all kinds of designs.
Lenovo was the world leader in the sector in the last quarter, followed by its usual competitors, HP and Dell. The company's campus in Beijing, where more than 10,000 employees work. It is located northwest of the city, in a technology center called Zhong Guan Cun. This area, popularly known as the Silicon Valley of China, is home to large technology companies such as Baidu, Netease, Sina or Tencent.
Lenovo has a design laboratory. A team of 70 workers experiment with different materials, textures and colors. It is up to you to decide what the computer of the future will be like and analyze which trends will predominate and how the way users interact with these devices will change. "We anticipate how the relationship between customers and their devices will be in five years so as not to become obsolete. The more technology enters our lives and depersonalizes things, the more people yearn for real human interaction and authenticity," says Andreas Schupp, director from Lenovo's design laboratory in Beijing, which began its journey in the company in 2009 and previously worked for a decade in a global design agency.
Although the products that go on the market have limited colors, in the laboratory they experiment with all kinds of tones and finishes. This is explained by Ashley Xu, general director of CMF design at Lenovo. “We tried different combinations. With the same color together with different textures, very different results are achieved, ”he says in a design laboratory room full of laptop prototypes and different products in all kinds of colors and textures. When choosing a computer, every detail is important: from colors to materials. Crystal, aluminum or leather are some of those used today. When in the laboratory they consider that a color is pleasant and a material has an interesting touch, they contact suppliers to create different samples and see what the final result would be.
For Schupp, design is a strategic problem solution that drives innovation. He gives as an example the Yoga family. These devices are a hybrid halfway between a laptop and a large tablet. Its versatility is due to its screen being able to rotate 360 degrees. "The inspiration of Yoga was to understand how the body moves. People use computers in many different ways. Not only sitting at a table, sometimes on a sofa or in other postures," he explains.
This type of convertible computers and removable tablets will be increasingly demanded, according to IDC forecasts. On the contrary, the consultant expects a decrease in sales of traditional PCs and tablets. Like Lenovo, other companies such as Acer, Asus, HP or Dell have launched convertible computers with a small size, touch screens and, sometimes, the possibility of disassembling the screen keyboard.