Slideshow

Competition, not innovation, in wearables at Computex

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are still the market mainstays

  • Acer's smart wristband, the Liquid Leap, connects via Bluetooth to an Android phone to bring phone notifications and some basic audio controls to its tiny screen. At its heart, the Liquid Leap is a fitness tracker and includes a built-in pedometer, measurement of distance traveled and calories burned. It's due out in the third quarter but only with a companion smartphone, the Liquid Jade. Acer said it will consider selling the Leap on a stand-alone basis if there is enough interest.

  • Acer's smart wristband, the Liquid Leap, connects via Bluetooth to an Android phone to bring phone notifications and some basic audio controls to its tiny screen. At its heart, the Liquid Leap is a fitness tracker and includes a built-in pedometer, measurement of distance traveled and calories burned. It's due out in the third quarter but only with a companion smartphone, the Liquid Jade. Acer said it will consider selling the Leap on a stand-alone basis if there is enough interest.

  • The S101 smart watch from Galapad is one of the few on show that didn't run Google's Android. It's currently running a proprietary operating system with basic features like a calculator, calendar access, messaging and phone controls. The 1.6-inch screen has a 240 pixel by 240 pixel resolution and the company says it will launch a new model with Google's new Android Wear operating system when it becomes available.

  • Taiwanese manufacturer Netronix has developed its first smartwatch, which uses an e-ink display. This gives the device a battery life of between 4 and 6 days, at the cost of no color, but white and black. The 1.73-inch display, however, is a touchscreen. It works more as a companion device to a smartphone, and is able to display incoming messages and calls over Bluetooth connectivity. Netronix will start shipping the smartwatch in late August to its business clients, many of which are in Europe. The product is made to be priced below $100.

  • Holux, a Taiwan-based manufacturer, is showing off a smartwatch geared for heartbeat monitoring. In the back of the watch's display is an optical heart rate sensor that when on can last for 11 hours. Holux's watch is waterproof, weighs at 25 grams, and uses a 1.26-inch monochrome black screen. It can connect to a smartphone over Bluetooth to receive notifications as well. The company will start shipping the smartwatch to clients late in the year.

  • Singapore-based Oaxis has developed a smartband meant to promote fitness. Called the Star 21, the product synchs with a company-developed mobile app that can be installed on a smartphone. The mobile app works by setting out goals for the user to complete over a 21-day period. The smartband itself can display the time in analog format. Oaxis sells its products to China and Southeast Asia, and expects the Star 21 to retail for $42 when it launches in July.

  • Android Wear UI on square and round display.

  • Taiwan-based Sonostar wants to sell its own wearable, simply called the SmartWatch, globally through online sales. The device has a 1.73-inch e-ink display, giving it three to five days of battery life. The curved display is a touchscreen, and meant to be readable under sunlight. Included are some apps that can track a user's exercise activities. It can also synch with your phone, and notify a user of incoming phone calls, and other messages. Sonostar's device will be priced at $179 and be avaliable in mid-July.

  • Taiwan-based manufacturer Guidercare is launching a healthcare wearable meant for the elderly. The Angel Smart GD-800 looks like other smartwatches, but it's also meant to monitor the user's health and location. The data is uploaded remotely to the caregiver's smartphone via an app, letting him or her monitor the user's health. The device will be priced below $300 and launch worldwide later this year through Guidercare's partners. It runs Android and has 3G connectivity to make phone calls, or alert the caregiver during emergencies.

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