Mark Davison is at Lenovo Accelerate in Orlando – Adhering to its vision of intelligent transformation, this year’s Lenovo Accelerate has seen the company embark on its biggest ever set of announcements for its commercial business.

“What we are doing is focusing on the business customer in terms of intelligent transformation, enabling business end users to do their work with the world’s smartest computing systems,” says David Rabin, VP Global Commercial Marketing at Lenovo. “It’s often said that people are the most important asset a business can have. We’re nothing without people … if they all quit we’re out of business … we’re out of a job.

“So it is vital for us to enable them with the best possible technology we know how to make in three key areas – smarter devices, smarter workplaces and edge computing – which have led to new industries and new vertical markets,” Rabin says.

Areas that are amply covered by a number of the new announcements made at Accelerate, which include:


The business potential of AR/VR

Created as part of Lenovo’s smarter business initiative, ThinkReality is a newly launched sub-brand that brings businesses a solutions-based approach comprised of both software and hardware. It is designed to help enterprise workers use AR applications to receive assistance, reduce repair times, eliminate errors, streamline complex workflows, improve training quality, collaborate and save money.

The ThinkReality platform enables users to pin, interact and collaborate with 3D digital information in the real world, improving their contextual awareness and efficiency. The platform is device and cloud agnostic, making it easy for enterprise customers to adopt and manage AR and VR software applications across multiple operating systems, cloud services, and devices.

The first device in the ThinkReality solutions portfolio, the ThinkReality A6 is a lightweight, heads-up, hands free mobile head-worn device that can be used to deploy both simple and complex AR solutions for enterprises looking to enhance the productivity of their workforce. With a weight of 380g and a 40-degree diagonal field of view with 1080p resolution per eye, the A6 is one of the lightest fully-featured AR headsets in its class. But don’t let its size fool you; Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile XR Platform in the Android compute box powers the ThinkReality A6 headset which features waveguide optics by Lumus inside an Intel Movidius Vision Processing Unit (VPU) – so that the hardware is small but mighty.


Bold moves in end-to-end IoT solutions

Long known for innovative hardware and PCs, Lenovo continues making businesses smarter by adding enhanced customer-validated solutions to its ThinkIoT ecosystem of offerings. An IoT device captures information from the various repeated actions in an environment and then analyses data to inspire workplace efficiencies and optimised performance.

ThinkIoT’s portfolio includes powerful edge computing devices such as, ThinkCentre Tiny or the all-new ThinkCentre Nano IoT, the EPC300 as well as an array of sensors, including, high-powered smart cameras, motion-enabled lighting, machine vision cashier and facial recognition devices–able to detect and convey information fast to make intelligent decisions at the edge, i.e. locally, in the warehouse or showroom.

From consultation and device deployment, to upskilling workers and enabling predictive analytics, the complex inner-connections of services, software and devices are orchestrated by Lenovo’s solutions architects to improve business outcomes for enterprise clients. Imagine a doctor using AR glasses to view X-rays on the cloud, or a warehouse associate aided by a high-performance camera sensor that can identify whether packages are put on the right pallet within 200 milliseconds of picking up a box via a QR code on the sticker – all made possible through ThinkIoT’s warehouse automation solution.

Equally valuable to retail businesses is the automated computer vision cashier prototype, currently being tested as a pilot program at Lenovo’s Beijing campus. Brick-and-mortar store owners wanting to bust up long queues and avoid pricing errors will soon be using object recognition technology at self-checkout. With integrated camera, processor and sensors, this smart retail solution of the future allows shoppers to scan all their items at once, eliminating the need to detect individual barcodes, plus, it weighs the purchases to provide feedback to suppliers, as well as allowing for a virtual wallet payment gateway.


Lenovo and Microsoft IoT collaboration

At Accelerate, Lenovo displayed ThinkIoT offerings powered by Azure that will accelerate customers’ digital transformations, with Azure SQL Database Edge and solutions for verticals such as retail and manufacturing. Now, customers deploying Microsoft Azure solutions for IoT, AI and data management can do so leveraging the full spectrum of Lenovo offerings including the ECP300 edge gateway and IOT510C Smart Camera, ThinkCentre Nano IoT and ThinkSystem SE350 edge server.

“More than ever, customers want to connect the physical world to the digital world and to implement IoT and AI solutions to enable business transformations. Working with trusted partners who can provide infrastructure and services that simplify IoT is critical,” says Sam George, director, Azure Internet of Things at Microsoft. “Our new IoT partnership with Lenovo brings together Microsoft’s Azure platform and Lenovo’s ThinkIoT solutions portfolio of hardware, software and services to dramatically accelerate time to value for our joint customers.”


ThinkCentre Nano and Nano IoT

Designed to deliver powerful performance in an ultra-portable size, the ThinkCentre M90n is the most compact commercial desktop series in the world. Models are one-third the size of the ground-breaking ThinkCentre Tiny and bring up to 30% energy savings annually versus traditional desktops. This makes them perfect for deploying in dense call centres or in environments where space is constrained.
With the smallest form factor in the market,

ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano brings space-saving convenience and manageability to any vertical user because it can fit virtually anywhere – behind the monitor, under a table, or on a bookshelf, offering a clutter-free shared-desk work environment. ThinkCentre Nano can be conveniently powered by a compatible USB Type-C monitor or Type-C dock, thereby providing rich I/O possibilities to meet every business need.

Built to be energy-efficient with an amazingly quiet fan-less design, the ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT has a broader thermal range (0-50 °C) and is designed for higher vibration and thermal environments like manufacturing. As a secure IoT Gateway, the ThinkCentre Nano IoT is designed to provide processing and security for the IoT devices you have in your environment that demand realtime responsiveness at the edge. The Nano IoT increases responsiveness and reliability by enabling the rapid relay of information between connected IoT peripherals, sensors and devices, even in harsher commercial environments. You can drive further expansion of additional legacy ports and peripherals with the expansion I/O Box to build out to your edge device needs.


ThinkBook 14s and 13s

Lenovo is launching a new sub-brand dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) called ThinkBook – starting with a new line of ultra-slim laptops that embrace the portability and ease-of-use of modern consumer-oriented devices and will no doubt help to empower tomorrow’s successful business leaders.

In this constantly online world, modern workers need a streamlined laptop they can use to collaborate from nearly any remote location, and no other group leverages smarter technology to enhance productivity quite like the smartphone-literate workers in the next generation.

Backed by customer research, ThinkBook is specially designed for SMBs buying consumer laptops for perceived design and price advantages, but can no longer rationalise their lack of extended services and warranties–core needs of any sized business.

ThinkBook allows growing firms to keep a competitive edge in attracting today’s young tech-savvy execs with cool looking yet cost-effective devices.

The ultra-slim ThinkBook S series, available in a 13-inch and 14-inch model, is designed for business buyers unwilling to make trade-offs in essentials such as security, reliability, and support services while satisfying the demand for sleek-looking devices that bring the familiar smartphone experience to PCs. Perfect for any business, the new Lenovo ThinkBook 13s and 14s combine modern style and consumer-oriented design elements, such as aluminium exteriors, with the business-grade and built-in security features that consumers expect from the Think family PCs.


ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 improves upon its predecessor with upgrades including up to 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with Max-Q design, and up to double the storage at 4Tb.

Made for advanced business users, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is the perfect thin and light Windows 10 laptop that suits their mobile lifestyle as well as high performance computing needs. With boosted entertainment features including a brighter optional 4K OLED touch display featuring Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos Speaker System, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a 15-inch powerhouse laptop engineered for data intensive workloads from video and photo editing to graphics rendering, AR/VR applications and more.


To protect the best …

Built to protect businesses, ThinkShield is a fully customisable suite of security related services, software and hardware capabilities that protect the full lifecycle of commercial devices from development to disposal. The ThinkShield portfolio is designed to provide greater security across all Lenovo Think devices, data centres and emerging solutions.

ThinkShield takes a holistic approach to security that focuses on customer’s four biggest pain points in protecting their data, identity, online and devices. Launched last year, ThinkShield is adding seven new offerings to its robust security portfolio, such as Lenovo Self Healing BIOS that “self-heals” and reverts back to its last known good backup copy in the event a BIOS is corrupt or maliciously attacked; or ThinkShield Secure Wipe that allows users to completely delete sensitive data on their devices without the need for external tools or removing the drive.