Features

Lenovo sees gaming, VR and AR as ‘big part of future’

Spider-Man VR game up next after Jedi Challenges?

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We see gaming as a critical part of our growth. AR and VR are going to be a big part of our future.”

These were words spoken by Lenovo Asia Pacific Chief Marketing Officer Nick Reynolds during a media group discussion at the sidelines of the Lenovo Legion of Champions Series II tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

Reynolds spoke enthusiastically about developing more augmented and virtual reality-related products that will not intimidate the casual consumer. If we look at the Jedi Challenges AR game launched in 2017, they appear to be on the right track.

For the unfamiliar, Jedi Challenges puts an exact replica of the lightsaber on your hand and with the headset, the beacon, and an app, pits you against Star Wars villains. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.

Nick Reynolds and Ivan Cheung of Lenovo pose after their media interviews

Reynolds, along with Lenovo Regional General Manager of Central Asia Pacific Ivan Cheung, highlighted the company’s existing partnership with Disney and all the other properties under the entertainment giant. The possibilities are endless.

Spider-Man VR Game?

One big property that Reynolds and Cheung mentioned is Marvel and its huge roster of superheroes. First one that the two talked about potentially making it into an AR or VR game is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

But how will that work? How does it tie in to making AR and VR accessible to more people?

Reynolds detailed how with Jedi Challenges, you already have an avenue for new content. “If you think about the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, the headset and the beacon… that’s a platform, and that platform will allow all sorts of content to be accessed.”

“Does it have a life beyond this one game? The answer is strongly yes because it’s a platform that you’ll be able to have other experiences on with Disney content,” he added.

This is all theory and possibilities at this point, but Cheung says if enough people ask, Lenovo and Disney might just work on it.

“We welcome feedback from you [and the community], if the [Spider-Man] game actually happened, I myself, would be very excited,” said Cheung.

“If you use your imagination, it’s very easy to build a new app that you download on your phone that can deliver new content to the Mirage platform,” added Reynolds.

So if you want to know what it’s like to be a web-slinger, I would hound Lenovo right now to get started on producing the game.

More quality content needed

However, Reynolds noted that for AR and VR to truly thrive, there needs to be more quality content that’s meant not just for gamers.

“What’s going to wow people to buy it is being at Madison Square Garden sitting at courtside or ringside to watch a game or match,” said Reynolds.

The Chief Marketing Officer noted how it can be possible to watch live NBA games and “switch seats” at your whim. Like pay-per-view but on steroids. Imaginative applications like these are what’s needed to get AR and VR more mainstream acceptance.

Reynolds also shared how one of their influencers, who is an underwater photographer, is able to better relate that experience to viewers via VR. He said, “This content is viewable on YouTube, but it’s only truly immersive when you have the headset.”

Legion direction

Lenovo recognizes that its playing catch-up with its year-old sub-gaming brand Legion. However, they are confident they can close the gap with their approach.

Instead of appealing only to long-time and hardcore gamers, Legion wants to be a brand friendly to those just getting into gaming. They’re also developing products by directly communicating with the gaming community.

“We believe that working closer together with a bigger community actually will help us expand and advance in the overall PC gaming market in the region,” said Cheung.

They hope to achieve this closer relationship with the gaming community by hosting various gaming events and building “Legion experience zones” where customers can get a feel for their product portfolio and give feedback right away.

Lenovo Asia Pacific Manager Gregory Beh highlighted this approach as he introduced the anniversary edition of the Legion Y520 — their entry-level gaming machine.

Lenovo Philippines influencer Ashley Gosiengfiao using the Legion Y520 black and gold anniversary edition

Beh says this collaboration with the community will result in a big project that’s been 18 months in the making, which he says will be “better than our competitors. It’ll be groundbreaking and radical. Not just within Lenovo but also across other gaming vendors.”

He was tight-lipped as to what the project is exactly about but hinted at both a new product and partnership with a major eSports title.

Lenovo Asia Pacific Manager Gregory Beh speaking to media

In a separate session, Reynolds also mentioned producing a line of gaming notebooks that you could “take to the office with you.”

Looking around the media group, he pointed out how no one was working on a gaming laptop because it just doesn’t look well in a more formal setup. Reynolds believes everyone would love a gaming laptop but some aren’t too happy with how they currently look.

Whether or not these upcoming machines are part of the 18-month project that Beh teased remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure: There’s plenty to get excited about as the Legion enters a new phase.

Features

Hanebado!, Ant-Man and the Wasp, BAAM by Momoland: Now Playing

Pop culture overload!

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Since the start of the year, GadgetMatch has been covering major tech events like CES, MWC, Computex, and E3. July is the month wherein the GadgetMatch team finally gets to slow down a bit to relax before the next wave of events comes up. If you’re curious about what we’re up to, here’s what’s now playing for GadgetMatch.

Movies to see

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Marvin: If you still haven’t moved on from the catastrophic ending of Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp should be able to turn those sad tears into tears of laughter. It mimics the original movie in terms of action and character development, yet isn’t afraid to make fun of itself and the superhero genre in general. Like always, be sure to stick around for two scenes during and after the credits. They fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a… dramatic way.

Isle of Dogs
Chay: The long wait is over, Wes Anderson fans. His latest film is his second animated masterpiece, this time set in a dystopian Japan that centers around the search for a dog exiled to Trash Island. Like most, if not all his films, Isle of Dogs is filled with themes of melancholy and disappointment, and sometimes hope, depending on your own interpretation. Whether you watch it for Anderson’s iconic style or your love for dogs, what we have here is a classic that needs to be watched at least more than once in your lifetime.

TV shows to binge watch

Hanebado!
Rodneil: The future is female, and for the first time in recent sports anime history, the main characters are mostly women! Hanebado opens with a riveting badminton sequence between freshman prodigy Ayano Hanesaki and third-year student Nagisa Aragaki. Hanesaki struggles with her desire to play while Aragaki struggles with working hard but still falling short. If you enjoyed titles like Haikyuu!! and Yuri on IceHanebado! is definitely worth checking out.

GLOW
Kevin: The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are who you’ll need if you’re looking for a well-written TV series that fuses drama, female empowerment, and the poofy hair of the 80s. It’s about a group of women with different backgrounds but have a common reason to stick it out together. The second season was released last month, and it’s filled with the same gems we loved from the first season.

Music to listen to

BAAM by Momoland
Rodneil: I’m not even gonna lie, this is really more about the visuals for me than the actual music, but as I watched from one version of the music video to another, the song eventually got stuck in my head. It has a nice perk-you-up vibe to it, similar to “Boom Boom” which is the song that propelled Momoland beyond South Korea’s airwaves. In case it’s not obvious, Nancy is my main bias and Yeonwoo is a close second.

Summer Pack by Childish Gambino
Kevin: Just like his This is America track, Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) dropped new tunes out of nowhere late this week. He didn’t only release one, but two fresh originals. Together, they’re called Summer Pack and the two-track release consists of “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.”

While both have that laid-back, relaxing vibe, “Summertime Magic” has more of a dance approach between the two and would go well on the beach while sipping on Pina Colada. “Feels Like Summer,” on the other hand, makes you want to take a stroll downtown in a convertible and spark a fatty.

Apps to download

InShot
Rodneil: InShot is a mobile video editor available on both Android and iOS. With it, you can splice together clips you have stored in your phone and even choose the aspect ratio, whether it’s 1:1, 16:9, or 9:16. There’s also an option to add effects, text, and music that’s also stored in your phone. It’s a pretty powerful video editing tool on mobile — one that can help jumpstart your IGTV career.

Events to check out

AsiaPop Comicon Manila 2018
MJ: Once again, AsiaPop Comicon is back in Manila from July 27 to 29, 2018, to be held at the SMX Convention Center. Marvel plans to show what’s new in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Netflix returns to premiere a never-before-seen film. It’s also expected to be bigger and more exciting than last year’s event. Finn Jones from Game of Thrones and Tye Sheridan who appeared on Ready Player One and X-Men as Cyclops, are the major celebrity guests to attend.

Did you like any of our picks or have suggestions of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments section!


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Accessories

Sony XB Series Speakers: His and Hers

Portable speakers for everyone!

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Speakers may be made for parties and fun gatherings, but that’s not always the case. It can also be your best buddy, even during times when you’re not out socializing.

In the fourth installment of His and Hers, I went through a different route. I wanted to show how instrumental music is in our lives. These are the latest additions to Sony’s Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth speakers: the SRS-XB41 and SRS-XB21.

Both speakers have the same features and the only noticeable differences are in terms of size and, of course, the party lights. The SRS-XB41 comes in red with flashing strobes and a changing line light in multiple colors. It’s perfect for guys who like it flashy but don’t mind having a bulky and heavy speaker.

The SRS-XB21, on the other hand, comes in white with lights of the same color. It’s perfect for girls who like something that will fit in their bags — something they can carry wherever they go.


Let your heart sing with art

It’s not every day you get to wake up with a beautiful view. So, when creativity kicks in, bring out your portable speaker and art kit! Roll up your sleeves and paint something in sync with the beat. Next thing you know, you’ve already created something you can be proud of.


Beating the game

Some game nights can be enjoyed when you have a friend by your side. But sometimes, a speaker can be enough of a buddy. Play loud music that pumps you up, makes you smash those buttons, clear the stages, and win!


Pretty by the pool

There are times when stress gets the best of us, so it’s important to find time to relax. Put those sunglasses on and show off that new swimsuit you just bought. This splash-proof speaker is a good companion when lounging by the pool so you can listen to some great summer tunes. Now, go ahead, take a dip, and enjoy this moment.


Playing the right jam

After playing ball, you’ll find yourself trying to recover from a tiring game. Pull out that speaker and play your relaxing tunes. With the Sony Music Center app, you can select your favorite playlists, change the lighting patterns and sound modes, and be in complete control of your music. Be your own DJ when you turn on the live mode; you’ll get a festival vibe that takes your experience to the next level.


Lost in music and words

When the weather’s all cuddly and gloomy, it becomes ideal to stay indoors and have coffee by the bedside table. Pair it up with a good book, like Eat, Pray, Love, and a speaker to play some mellow music that soothes you. That’s the recipe for a perfect day!


Own the night

These wireless speakers remind us to stay connected. Invite your BF or BFF to come over and light up the night. Hand over some wine and unwind from everyday stress.


This episode of His and Hers proved that music is a necessary companion in our lives. It has the power to change a person or a place’s mood, and with the right speakers like Sony’s SRS-XB21 or the SRS-XB41, the moment can be more enjoyable and memorable.

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Features

No more sucking at Starbucks, Android P leaks: Weekend Rewind

Effort for a greener world, new hardware, and leaked software!

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. No more sucking! Starbucks halts the use of plastics straws

In an attempt to help make the planet a greener place, the world-famous coffee shop chain has vowed to go strawless and the world is thankful for this contribution. Replacing the offending cold drink accessory is a specially designed cup cover that’s made of recyclable materials.

This move has already started, with most people finding no straws in their Starbucks orders today. By 2020, the chain aims to eliminate all single-use straws in their shops.

2. Microsoft outs its smallest and most affordable Surface

Microsoft has just announced new hardware under its Surface line of devices. The company veers away from its usual premium offerings and is going for the affordable route this time. The new Surface Go is the most affordable of the bunch — and also the smallest. It is a full-blown Windows 10 tablet aimed at schools, kids, and even the enterprise market.

3. Expect to lose followers on Twitter

Twitter is serious about taking down trolls and fake accounts. The California-based company just announced that it’s removing locked accounts from users’ follower list to avoid suspicious activities like spamming or posting questionable links. The way it works is the company prompts the account owner to verify their account and if not done, they lock said accounts.

Image credit: Apple

4. Apple refreshes its Macbook Pro line

Apple has updated the MacBook Pro line with newer processors, more configuration options, a quieter keyboard design, and True Tone displays. The models feature eight-generation Intel Core processors, although only the top-tier variants and those with Touch Bar get the latest features.

5. Did Huawei accidentally reveal the next Android name?

The news came all the way from Poland. As reported by Polish site Tabletowo, a reader of theirs shared an email thread between the support department of Huawei. Long story short, a representative slipped that Android P would be called Android Pistachio.

Of course, take it with a grain of salt, but it lines up with Bloomberg‘s theory that Google is going for Pistachio Ice Cream for this year’s Android version.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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