Computex IT show focuses on wearables

Smart gadgets the big draw at Taiwan trade event

Models with the Acer Liquid Leap smartwatch at the Taipei Computex Taipei 2014 expo: Taiwan is looking to China for growth and its larger neighbour accounts for one-third of all smartphones sold worldwide this year. photograph: chris stowers/bloomberg

Models with the Acer Liquid Leap smartwatch at the Taipei Computex Taipei 2014 expo: Taiwan is looking to China for growth and its larger neighbour accounts for one-third of all smartphones sold worldwide this year. photograph: chris stowers/bloomberg

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 01:06

The IT and communication technology trade show Computex was in Taiwan last week, and the big draw this year was wearable smart gadgets, from watches to glasses, as well as the more standard offerings of tablets and LCD TVs.

Computex, which ends tomorrow, is the second-biggest in the world, featuring 1,710 exhibitors and attracting 130,000 visitors, including 38,000 international buyers.

According to Computerworld, industry projections put the wearables market at tens of millions of devices over the next few years.

Intel, the world’s leading PC processor maker, flagged its interest in expanding into the wearables market ahead of the show.

Tom Foldesi, senior director of Intel’s new devices unit, told a news briefing that Intel’s development of wearable technology would focus on five concepts to improve people’s lives and offer them something both fashionable and personal.

A lot of the devices on offer, from firms such as Taiwan’s Acer and Netronix, seem to be fitness trackers that link up with Android and also include phone notifications and audio controls.

Acer, which was just one of 50 tech companies that showed off wearable devices, debuted the Liquid Leaf, its first fitness smartband, which wearers can also use to make calls and receive notifications.

Vital signs

One Taiwanese company, AiQ Smart Clothing, is offering a shirt that monitor the wearer’s vital signs, and it works by weaving conductive fibres into the fabric that track your heartbeat. Apparently it can be washed 100 to 200 times.

Self-ruled Taiwan is always looking to cross-strait rival China for growth, and Chinese demand is expected to drive sales growth in the region, with China accounting for one third of all smartphones sold worldwide this year.

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