Lenovo, a China-based device-maker which recently acquired Motorola from Google, has announced it will soon release a "special edition" smartphone line co-developed with A-list actor Ashton Kutcher.
According to new website Recode, launched this year by the former AllThingsD editorial team, the Hollywood star of That 70s Show, Two and a Half Men, Dude Where's My Car and Jobs has helped design a new series of Lenovo smartphones that will launch sometime in 2014. Lenovo previously hired Kutcher in October 2013 as a product engineer and ambassador for its Yoga tablet line.
Citing David Roman, chief marketing officer at Lenovo, as a source, Recode reported that Kutcher physically worked on the line's user experience. Kutcher, who studied biochemical engineering at college before becoming an actor, is also notably the co-founder of venture capital group A-Grade Investments, which has invested in many start-ups such as Foursquare, Airbnb, and Uber.
Speaking in an interview with Recode, Roman emphasised that Kutcher is hands-on when it comes to the new phone line, mostly because Kutcher has a passion for technology, design and engineering: “I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real. He [Kutcher] not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it," Roman said.
Kutcher isn't the first celebrity to enter the technology world. HTC had Robert Downey Jr, Polaroid had Lady Gaga, BlackBerry had Alicia Keys... In most cases though, actors, musicians and models simply serve as spokesmen. But Kutcher has apparently assumed a more active role in developing future mobile computing products for Lenovo.