Local News

Lenovo backing Raleigh boy's smartwatch design

Posted October 14, 2014
Updated October 30, 2014

— A 12-year-old from Raleigh who is trying to build a better smartwatch got some major support this week from a large technology company.

Lenovo, the world's largest personal computer maker, gave Davis Barrow $5,000 to put toward creating a prototype of his Comb720 watch.

The design of the Comb720 was inspired by Barrow's beekeeping hobby, with the watch face of seven hexagons resembling a honeycomb.

"There are only seven buttons, so you can get to an app just by tapping," he said.

Barrow's 14-year-old brother spent 100 hours writing the code for the watch.

After WRAL News aired a story about Barrow's watch idea and plan to raise $50,000 on the website Indiegogo to finance the start of production, Lenovo Chief Technology Officer Peter Hortensius got in touch with Barrow and invited him to the company's U.S. headquarters in Morrisville.

"It was really just a case of a child that I just wanted to meet," Hortensius said.

Barrow explained his concept and his business plan to several tech executives on Monday.

Hortensius was impressed.

"I wish a lot of adults could carry themselves as well as he does," he said.

Barrow said he was surprised and grateful for the meeting and the donation to his Indiegogo crowd-funding effort.

"I had a great time getting to talk to them about my product, and they donated to my Indiegogo campaign," he said.

Lenovo officials plan to keep a close eye on the project -- and on Barrow.


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  • lprop Oct 15, 2014

    This is really good news. His parents have got to be proud of him and his brother. You have to thank Lenovo for their support.

  • Jeepgirl03 Oct 15, 2014

    This kid has a great idea, but Lenovo should be looking at his brother too. At 14 to be able to write code like that is pretty impressive. Wish them both luck in their futures.

  • Mannin Black Oct 15, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    Programmers and code writers never get the credit.

  • jdo823 Oct 15, 2014

    Wow! Smart kid!
    But people forgot about his 14 yrs old brother who wrote the code for the watch!

  • Paul Donovan Oct 15, 2014
    user avatar

    Nice job Lenovo for recognizing and supporting a young tech entrepreneur. Could pay off big dividends for Lenovo in the future

  • sinenomine Oct 15, 2014

    Kudos to this young man.

  • M@ma40 Oct 15, 2014

    GREAT JOB!!!! We need to see more news like this!!

  • Todd Jenkins Oct 15, 2014
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    love the mail button. yea. reading email in a one inch space and reply to it is definitely the way of the future.

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Oct 15, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I agree that he's already doing great things with his life. I don't get the impression he's wasting his childhood. He obviously has a great mind and loves what he's doing. This kind of stuff seems to be his baseball or video game. Congrats to him. And kudos to his family for supporting him

  • Amy Kunkle Oct 15, 2014
    user avatar

    I saw this story last night on the news and was anxious to read more about this kid. So exciting to see the beginnings of what he will build upon in the future. While his mind and ideas are amazing, I truly hope he will not sacrifice his youth. You only get to be a kid once.... Then again, this kind of ingenuity from a pre-teen doesn't happen very often either. I hope he does well and does good.