After checking out the second generation Moto 360 at a recent Motorola/Lenovo event, we stumbled upon this crazy smart watch concept from Lenovo. Called the "Magic View," this device takes the round Moto 360 form factor and adds a second display to the band. The second display isn't an LCD though, it's a viewfinder that you have to hold up to your eye to see.
The viewfinder reminds us a lot of Google Glass, and it seems to be based on the same technology: light is projected into a prism that serves as the display surface. Google Glass used this to make a see-through display, but on the Magic View, the prism is encased in the watch, so there is a solid black background. And just like Google Glass, the display was so pixel dense and the lenses focused it so that holding it up to your face made me think I was looking at a much larger display.
Lenovo's Android-based watch OS would allow you to send certain images or movies to the viewfinder by swiping down with two fingers. Then just hold the display up to your eye to enter a little world of media. The display is virtually impossible to see unless you're holding it right up to your eye—from any other angle it looks like a solar panel from a cheap calculator.
Lenovo doesn't plan to turn the Magic View into a product just yet—for now it's just a concept. The display was interesting, but also like Google Glass, you would probably look pretty silly using it in public. It also adds unwanted bulk to a smartwatch platform that is already pushing the boundaries of acceptable size and fashion. The Magic View is a fun sign that no one really has this smart watch stuff figured out yet, and we'll probably see more experimentation like this ahead.