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Chronos: Lenovo's Leap Forward?

Lenovo debuts new avatar-based device at the CES, Project Chronos

Source: Lenovo / Intel

Lenovo debuted a few things at this year's CES, but arguably the most exciting was Project Chronos. Chronos is an avatar-based device that uses an RGB depth camera to capture movements, letting users beam their physical selves into virtual worlds.

Lenovo will also produce a remote to help navigate menus of the Kinect-like device, with further details yet to be announced.

A Leap Up from Laptops

Lenovo demonstrated the new device, an unassuming gray box which makes use of 13th Gen Intel CPU. During the demo, movements were captured and smoothly animated in real-time; from jumping jacks to kicking a soccer ball into a goal, with the user's physical avatar matching a digital twin presented on a screen.

Some facial expressions were captured too, but they weren't great; what was meant to be a smile appeared more uncanny than comfortable. Lenovo later confirmed that the demonstration footage was pre-recorded–unsurprisingly.

The Chronos camera will be adjustable to capture specific angles or turned inward for privacy. The device is flat and unassuming, much like a satellite TV box, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find the right place to put it.

Lenovo's spokesperson, Jeff Witt, told The Verge they intend to ship the device some time this year, though without providing further comment on price or further details.

All in all, assuming Project Chronos launches, it could provide a way for people to project themselves into virtual worlds without the need for lofty VR headsets or expensive equipment.