Lenovo introduced its new ThinkSmart Hub 500. An innovative conferencing tool that promises to make teleconferencing easy. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – As workforce demographics change, workspaces need to evolve according to Lenovo and it is in this spirit that they have launched the ThinkSmart 500. 

Lenovo, said on Tuesday that in an effort to accommodate the demands for connectivity, flexibility and collaboration in today’s anytime work culture they have created the new ThinkSmart Hub 500. 

The hub essentially is a conferencing tool that utilises Skype like playability but is much faster, according to the company. 

The ThinkSmart Hub tackles conference room complexities and helps companies embrace the digital transformation of modern workspaces, according to Lenovo.

With the ability to simply connect remote and local participants to Skype for Business meetings and shared content, it eliminates the hassle of sharing personal laptop screens and messing about with cables. 

Developed in co-operation with Microsoft, the ThinkSmart Hub 500 is an all-in-one device, with a 360-degree rotatable 11.6-inch display, that runs Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and uses Logitech cameras.

HOW IT WORKS

In order to illustrate the application the Lenovo team set up a "mock" conference call in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and one participant was situated in a park, who called in from Skype through his phone. 

The team wanted to showcase the great connectivity and flexibility of the device. 

Did it work… well the real answer is not entirely. The most important feature was the ability to hear the voices on the call. That I have to admit was great. The picture quality was fair and that was mainly reliant on the video quality of the camera and the hotel's overhead projector. 

Of course all of this was reliant on a great internet connection and unfortunately, the presentation did not go so well because of this. 

The participant in the park, who called in from his phone, had major issues. He had an echo problem that was a bit embarrassing and could not have as great connectivity as a result. This was a result of his network on his mobile device. 

One of the major advantages of this device, that Lenovo is punting, is that companies can now cut costs on traveling employees to venues when they can just use this tool. 

This could possibly be a solution but is entirely dependent on the company and what their requirements are. 

A great proponent of the new hub is the applications that are available with the software. The team showcased their "white-board" application that allows teams to draw and showcase projects easily and effectively. 

PRICE

The Smart Hub 500 is priced from R30 000 to R35 000, depending on the type of Logitech camera selected. 

It is available through all Lenovo’s PCG distributors, including Axis. It can also be purchased directly from Lenovo.

– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE