Lenovo has never made it a secret that it’s aiming to be a leader in the smart office space.
Enter ThinkSmart View, its new dedicated personal business communications device for conducting Microsoft Teams audio and video calls. Basically, it looks like a Google Assistant-style smart display, repurposed for the office setting.
“A meeting of interconnected technology and working cultural changes is enabling transformations towards smarter workspaces,” said Joseph Mingori, general manager, Lenovo Smart Office business, in a statement. “By leveraging the next wave of smart office technology, such as ThinkSmart View, companies can design and equip a workplace for greater agility, creativity and engagement. Working with an eco-system of partners is crucial in empowering end-users and enabling closer collaboration around the world.”
The system is powered by Microsoft Teams instead of centering around Google’s home AI. The result: a way for offices to offer up a devoted Teams audio/video conferencing device at the fraction of the cost of its other enterprise solutions.
ThinkSmart View is expected to be available starting January 2020, starting at $349 (or $449 with an included pair of Bluetooth headphones for open offices). Compare that to the $1,800 price tag for last year’s ThinkSmart Hub 500.
As Techcrunch writer Brian Heater pointed out: “The device probably makes the most sense for smaller conference rooms and SMBs on higher budgets. It could, too, work at individual desks or for remote workers, though it’s going to take heavy use to justify the purchase of one of these, versus just installing Teams on your PCs. Still, it’s an interesting push for the smart display category, as manufacturers look for life beyond the kitchen and bedroom.”