The holidays are all about remembering the people in our lives, so for this particular gift guide,
our mission was to fnd a diverse range of new tech, tools, and toys that will directly affect yours.
Some of these items you might want to get for the third-shifters who have battled insomnia all
year just to keep up with demand. For others, perhaps for a competitive sibling who always tries
to outdo you on DIY projects. And because Christmas is really frst and foremost for children, we
found some truly awesome STEM gifts. And probably because we’re still kids at heart, we couldn’t
make a list without that one geeky item we’ve wanted our whole lives to be real.
This year, our top geek pick is the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges ($200),
an augmented reality suite from Lenevo. We all wanted to be like Luke
Skywalker, play Holochess on the
Millennium Falcon, and duel our
dads with a lightsaber. Now we
fnally can. And more than being
a fun gift, it perfectly sums up
where we are industrially. While
some things never go out of style,
with emerging technology, there’s
always a way to make it completely
new. Lenevo didn’t need to tap
into the force to know AR is the
next big thing; they looked at what
their customers want. Anticipating
and delivering on customer needs is the greatest gift you can have.
We talked to Matt Bereda, Executive Director, Worldwide Marketing Strategy, who gave us some insights into how Lenevo made what we think will
be the gift of the year.
We use Lenovo laptops at the offce and they’re great, but we would never
expect something this awesome coming from a computer manufacturer (no
offense). How did you come up with the idea?
To adapt to shifting customer needs, we’re expanding beyond our core
PC offerings and exploring new opportunities in the realm of AR, VR, and
MR (mixed reality) to offer people even more immersive and personalized
computing experiences. Combining great content with exceptional technology will be key, and partnering with major players like Disney is a big step
in the right direction. With Disney, we share the belief that AR is a great
platform for a new kind of storytelling and immersive entertainment. So it
was a natural ft for us to team up and build this exciting new AR technology together that will give Star Wars fans a new way to interact with their
Pokémon GO gets referenced a lot for the visibility it brought to AR. What
impact do you hope to have with Jedi?
We hope to fulfll the wishes of Star Wars fans who have always wanted
to wield a lightsaber or take on empire forces on the battlefeld. Star Wars:
Jedi Challenges is designed to be an
accessible AR experience for fans, bring-
ing together the latest AR technology and one
of the most recognized franchises in the galaxy.
Within the game, fans can experience
three different challenges:
Lightsaber Battles. With their very own lightsaber, fans can train against
legendary dark side villains like Kylo Ren and Darth Vader.
Strategic Combat. Players marshal the forces of the Republic, Rebel Alliance, and Resistance against the might of the Separatists, Empire, and
First Order in epic battles across their living room foors. Players can hone
their skills in strategy and tactics as they engage in battles.
Holochess. Perhaps one of the most iconic board games brought to flm,
Holochess frst leapt into moviegoer hearts when it was played on the
Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. It has now been
brought to life in Jedi Challenges. Fans can direct their holographic alien
pieces across the board, wrestling for territory and control.
How could this type of tech be used in an industrial setting? Any plans you
can tell us about enterprise AR hardware?
We believe the commercial AR/VR market is going to be big, possibly
reaching $40B+ by 2021. In addition to bringing AR/VR products to con-
sumers like Star Wars: Jedi Challenges and Lenovo Explorer immersive
headset for Windows Mixed Reality, we’re also working on developing best-
in-class AR/VR technology for verticals like healthcare, retail, education and
industrial categories. The result will be a solutions approach for commercial
customers. This is an exciting space and we’ll share more on that later.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is available now for pre-orders online at www.jedichal-lenges.com and www.bestbuy.com. It hits shelves at Best Buy stores nationwide
in the US beginning in November.