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Lenovo Focusing on Bringing Voice Capability to Its PC

Lenovo and Qualcomm had unveiled the world's first 5G PC called Project Limitless in May this year

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Lenovo, Voice, PCs
Lenovo just announced the first 5G PC, and that's going to be shipping early next year. Pixabay

Chinese tech major Lenovo, the worlds top personal computer maker, is focusing on bringing voice capability to its PCs, and will be shipping its first 5G personal computer early next year, said a top company official.

“Lenovo just announced the first 5G PC, and that’s going to be shipping early next year. We haven’t finalised the exact mode, and the naming will come out in near time,” said Dilip Bhatia, Vice President, Global Marketing, User & Customer Experience, PC & Smart Devices, Lenovo.

Lenovo and Qualcomm had unveiled the world’s first 5G PC called Project Limitless in May this year.

“We are bringing 5G capability to PCs and also voice capability. Today you can say ‘Hey Google’ and start writing messages (on smartphones), so we want to bring the same capability to your PC. We are enabling it for voice capability with Alexa,” Bhatia told IANS on the sidelines of the IFA 2019 here where Lenovo unveiled a range of its sleek laptops and tablets, among other products.

Lenovo, Voice, PCs
Chinese tech major Lenovo, the worlds top personal computer maker, is focusing on bringing voice capability to its PCs, and will be shipping its first 5G personal computer early next year. Pixabay

With users wanting more smartphone-like capability in their laptops, Lenovo has focused a big way on that in its new range of Yoga laptops and Thinkbooks.

Referring to Lenovo’s new Modern Standby mode for its laptops where even during sleep the PC can download emails, Bhatia said: “Today I don’t have to download emails on the PC, it automatically shows up all the time. We have the Modern Standby capability, Always On-Always Connected… People are looking to save time, so If I can turn on the PC and it turns on immediately without me having to type out the password, that saves time.”

On Lenovo using voice technology for its laptops and tablets, Bhatia said: “We’re very bullish on voice. Voice technology like Alexa, Cortana and Siri are getting better and better over time. We feel just like people have Alexa devices and Google devices at home, why can’t they have the same experience with the PC. So that’s why we’ve tried to integrate Alexa with the PC, so even if it’s on sleep mode, and I say ‘Hey Alexa what’s the weather?’, it will report back to me.”

The Lenovo Smart Display devices that have Google interface can be programmed to recognise every family member’s voice.

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“We are truly believers in voice and feel voice will be much more mainstream down the road,” Bhatia said.

Asked if Lenovo would be focusing on different languages, including Indian languages, he said that initially the new voice products would be in English and German.

“Initially, the new products I believe will be in English and German. But over time, as we’re really leveraging Amazon’s Alexa capability as they have more languages rolled out, more languages are certainly an option,” he said.

Bhatia, who focuses on customer experience, said there are numerous ways in which Lenovo ensures that users get a “great experience for their products”.

Lenovo, Voice, PCs
We haven’t finalised the exact mode, and the naming will come out in near time, said Dilip Bhatia, Vice President, Global Marketing. Pixabay

“At Lenovo, we don’t want a one-time transaction, but build loyalty so that customers keep coming back and buy our products. We create loyalty by listening really well to our customers,” he said.

Lenovo has created a special panel of 3,000 consumers, with members from across the world, including India. These consumers, “who kind of are expert of PCs and know what is a good PC”, are reached by Lenovo’s product managers for feedback on the new products and features.

Bhatia’s team also runs a Big Data analytics programme, as part of which they “basically scrape 20 million comments from the Internet” including from Amazon and Flipkart.

“We are using Big Data analytics to understand what people like and what they don’t about a product. This is another way by which we are getting the pulse of the Indian customer,” he added.

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Lenovo also has customer advisory councils, and conducts surveys of its customers for feedback.

“These are some of the few ways in which we listen to the voice of the Indian consumer to help improve our products and provide a better experience. I believe putting the customer at the forefront globally has paid off dividends in our market share,” Bhatia said.

“Globally, we had 24.9 per cent market share last quarter; so one in four PCs was a Lenovo. And that comes from relentless focus on listening to the customers,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Scientists Recreate Voice of an Egyptian Priest Who Lived 3,000 Years Ago

The researchers suggest that their proof-of-concept recreation of a vocal tract preserved over three millennia has implications for the way in which the past is presented to the public in the present

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Egyptian
The Egyptian priest Nesyamun lived during the politically volatile reign of the pharaoh Ramses XI over 3000 years ago, working as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor). IANS

Scientists have succeeded in accurately reproducing the voice of an Egyptian priest who lived 3,000 years ago, thanks to the mummification process and the use of 3D printing technology.

The scientists created the 3-D printed vocal tract based on measurements of the precise dimensions of his extant vocal tract following computed tomography (CT) scanning.

The acoustic output is a single sound, falling between the vowels in the English words ‘bed’ and ‘bad’, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The Egyptian priest Nesyamun lived during the politically volatile reign of the pharaoh Ramses XI over 3000 years ago, working as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor).

His voice was an essential part of his ritual duties which involved spoken as well as sung elements. The precise dimensions of an individual’s vocal tract produce a unique sound. If the dimensions of a vocal tract can be established, vocal sounds can be synthesized by using a 3D-printed vocal tract and an electronic larynx.

Egyptian Art, Sarcophagus, Pharaoe, Ancient, Egypt
Scientists have succeeded in accurately reproducing the voice of an Egyptian priest who lived 3,000 years ago, thanks to the mummification process and the use of 3D printing technology. Pixabay

For this to be feasible, the soft tissue of the vocal tract needs to be reasonably intact. David Howard of University of London and his colleagues used non-destructive CT to confirm that a significant part of the structure of the larynx and throat of the mummified body of the Nesyamun remained intact as a result of the mummification process.

This allowed the authors to measure the vocal tract shape from CT images. Based on these measurements, the authors created a 3D-printed vocal tract for Nesyamun and used it with an artificial larynx commonly used in speech synthesis.

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The researchers suggest that their proof-of-concept recreation of a vocal tract preserved over three millennia has implications for the way in which the past is presented to the public in the present. It may provide an opportunity to hear the vocal tract output of an individual that lived in ancient times. (IANS)