Family night takes on a new dimension, design teams can share much more than an interactive whiteboard, and home decorators can now look for ways to integrate a computer of all things into a house as a piece of designer furniture. How?

With Lenovo’s recently announced IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC that has been turned into pieces of very function high-tech art.

The specially designed tables reflect Lenovo’s commitment to a “PC Plus” strategy as it seeks to expand its business focus beyond traditional PCs and laptops to tables, smartphones, servers – and with the Table PC, a bigger, better breed of touchscreen devices powered by powerful PC processors and software.

On Wednesday, Lenovo unveiled ideas about how these big 27-inch screen computers can become furniture.

The world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer is showing off various custom-made designs from a “Treehouse” to a “Gaming Nest” and a central hub for collaborative design.

The three pieces will be on display May 18-21 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

The device’s super-sized screen allows as many as four people to use it simultaneously to use interactive content and play games. 

The integration of the Table PCs into furniture is the result of a collaboration between Lenovo, which operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville, and three designers: 

  • UM Project
  • Straight Line Designs
  • Input Creative Studio

Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs, designed the “Treehouse” (photo accompanies this story). He intends to create “a magical world of whimsy to bring children and people of all ages together.”

The Table PC is incorporated into a table that looks like a tree, complete with trunk, blue door, and four “stumps” as stools.

“When I first learned about the Horizon and what it could do, I imagined excited children gathered around it,” Beaumont says. “Technology has become an important part of everyday living, and this design showcases Horizon’s ability to interact with children and people of all ages, enabling them to discover, create and play. Much more than a piece of furniture, the Treehouse is an extension of creativity and fun with a secret hiding spot underneath for toys; a child’s dreams come true.”

Straight Line Designs produced the “Nest” around a family game night theme.

UM Project produced a cross between a desk, a stand and an easel.

“We envisioned Horizon as a totally new type of technology product – one that people use to create and enjoy content in a collaborative way, not a personal device but rather an interpersonal device,” said Jeff Meredith, vice president of Lenovo Business Group Marketing. “As an entirely new technology device, Horizon has inspired furniture designers to explore new ways to make it accessible and naturally fit into the home.”

The Horizon won more than 14 awards at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show. Horizon will come preloaded with games, such as air hockey. It will also have on-the-glass accessories such as e-dice and joysticks. The device can also be used as an all-in-one 27-inch desktop computer. But the Horizon won’t come cheap. Prices start at $1,699.

But if you want a special table or other design – that’s extra.

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out eight years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]