Back in October, Lenovo brought Ashton Kutcher onboard as a “product engineer”, a position that largely involved promoting the Yoga tablet and other Lenovo products. At the time of the announcement, Kutcher acted like he was serious about really helping with product design, though most of us figured the relationship would be nothing more than a celebrity endorsement that would amount to nothing (see: Blackberry and Alicia Keys).
As it turns out, Lenovo and Ashton Kutcher are both legitimately interested in working together on creating devices. To that end, Lenovo has now announced that Kutcher will be helping design several special-edition Lenovo handsets for launch later this year. Now, obviously Kutcher isn’t a true engineer and therefore won’t be designing the circuitry. Instead, Kutcher’s will be focused on the “user experience” of the phones, which could mean he’ll have his hands in shaping their aesthetics and perhaps shaping the direction of the UI and other software.
In an interview with Re/Code, Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer David Roman said, “I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real. He not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it.” How much level of actual involvement Kutcher has in these phones isn’t known just yet, but it sounds like he’ll be taking a fairly active roll.
Certainly an interesting move on Lenovo’s part, though only time will tell if it’s a successful one.