Taiwan Tries On Wearable Electronics at Tech Show

    13 July, 2014


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

    About 60 businesses demonstrated wearable electronic products last month at the Computex Taipei technology show in Taiwan. The devices included electronic watches and bracelets -- jewelry worn above the hands.

    The Taiwanese company Acer showed us smart armband called Liquid Leap. The device is worn around the arm. It can send text message and activate music on smart phones. It also can count the number of calories(heat units) burned during exercise.

    Manuel Linnig is a spokesman for Acer. He sees risk as well as promise of success in electronic devices that can be worn on the body.

    Acer's armband will start selling this year. At first it will be sold with a mobile wireless telephone, prices have yet to be announced.

    Asustek Computer, a competitor of Acer and smartphone developer HTC plan to release wearable products by the end of the year.

    Taiwan Tries On Wearable Electronics at Tech Show
    A general view shows booths at the 2014 Computex exhibition in Taipei World Trade Center, June 4, 2014.

    Smaller developers exhibited many products at Computex Taipei. GuiderCare of Taipei showed watches that can recognize when a person falls and send messages asking for help. The company thinks the product is perfect for older adults who live alone.

    Martian Watches, also of Taiwan, demonstrated watches that send voice commands to computer tablets or smartphones. The timepiece is now sell for $129 each in Taipei.

    A government research agency showed eye glasses that permit interaction through hand signals with computers. The signals can travel up to 200 meters. No price or release date has been announced yet.

    Prices for wearables remain relatively high. Many of the devices cost more than simple smartphones that performed the same or additional operations. Prices may rise above $1,000 as companies like Apple and Sony offer watches loaded with application software programs.

    Technology experts say many of the wearables still have problems. Some devices lack must-have applications, and battery supplies designed to save power. Some do not have the good looks that buyers want. Observers say many are aimed only at sports men and women like bicycle riders.

    But in Taiwan, product developers think they know how to grow. Huang Han-tang is an official with the organizers of Computex. He calls wearables are reasonable extension of other electronic devices.

    He says in the past two years, developers have found that handheld devices can be made even smaller and lighter. And he says everyone now thinks the easier goal to reach is to move from handheld devices to wearable devices.

    And that's the VOA Learning English Technology Report. I'm Jonathan Evans.