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This new smartphone projects a keyboard onto your desk

This new smartphone projects a keyboard onto your desk

This new smartphone projects a keyboard onto your desk

Curved screens? That's so "first quarter of 2015". The future is all about built-in smartphone projectors - which Lenovo is promising to make a reality with its Smart Cast.

Shown off (in demo only) at this week's Lenovo Tech World conference, the Smart Cast appears to be an underwhelming five-ish-inch smartphone - no curved display, no fingerprint reading home button. The party piece is located at the bottom of the phone's case, which houses a rotating laser projector.

When laid flat, the phone can project media onto nearby walls much like a pico projector - transforming the phone into a miniature cinema (and no doubt rampaging through the battery life).

While other cases and tablets have already experimented with built-in projectors (Lenovo's Yoga 2 tablet has one hidden in its curved base), the Smart Cast offers something a bit different when its projector is rotated 180 degrees into its second position. With the phone turned upside down and a kickstand flicked out, the projector can cast an interactive display onto any flat surface its set upon. A motion-tracker will then pick up user's gestures, allowing them to type on virtual keyboards or swipe on larger projections of the phone's screen display.

There's currently no word on when the Smart Cast will make it to market, nor the sticky technical details of exactly how Lenovo will make the system work, but it's an exciting demonstration of a company experimenting with how we use smartphones to communicate.

As soon as we get further details on Lenovo's Smart Cast, we'll be sure to broadcast them on the now-boring medium of a flat, 2D internet, displayed on your conventional screen. 

Now, any word on those hoverboards?