It can be tough getting the attention of airport gate staff. Soon they might have an additional distraction: smartwatches. Japan Airlines (JAL) on Wednesday demonstrated how some of its staff at Haneda airport in Tokyo are using Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 to locate and communicate with each other. JAL officials said smartwatches could help improve the efficiency of how and where airport staff are assigned, and improve passenger service. Attendants at two gates in the airport’s Terminal 1 building were sporting the smartwatches during the demonstration, which involved actual flights to domestic cities.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is bringing its low-price strategy to wearables, and offering a smart wristband that will sell for a mere US$13, the company announced on Tuesday. “I believe this wristband will very soon become the world’s best selling wristband,” said Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun during a product launch. Called the Mi Band, the device is meant mainly to be a fitness tracker with a 30-day battery life. But when worn, the wristband can also automatically unlock the user’s smartphone when in close proximity.
TAIPEI–When Asustek (華碩) Computer Inc.’s first smartwatch debuts to the world, it will be an innovative product with the right balance between launch timing, technical feasibility, price and form factor, company Chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠) vowed Thursday. Answering reporters’ question at the Taiwan Economic Summit in Taipei, Shih said Asustek has learned a lot about such “trade offs” between perceptual and rational factors during the design process.
Expect more wearables, robots and even electric cars to come from manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group, as the Taiwanese company tries to reinvent itself as a broader technology service provider. While Foxconn now mainly manufactures products for vendors like Apple and Sony, the company is hoping to seize on new opportunities emerging in the market. “When a typhoon comes, even a pig can fly,” joked Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou at its annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
Wearable device shipments are expected to surge in the third quarter as most vendors have decided to launch devices during the quarter. Vendors which originally planned to release products in the first half, have also postponed their plans as they wait for the market or product designs to mature, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Vendors including Apple, Samsung Electronics, Epson, Sony, Acer, Asustek Computer and Adidas have already prepared or launched wearable devices for the third quarter. Upstream chip supplier Qualcomm will also join the competition with devices.
TAIPEI — Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc., an Apple Inc. supplier for MacBook laptop lines, could become the main assembler of Apple’s rumored wearable device, the “iWatch,” according to U.S. brokerage Morgan Stanley. The iWatch, which is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, is expected to contribute more than 10 percent of Quanta’s sales in the October-December period on shipments of 10 million units, Morgan Stanley said.
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc will start mass production of Apple Inc’s first smartwatch in July, a source familiar with the matter said, as the US tech giant tries to prove it can still innovate against rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The still-unnamed watch, which Apple followers have dubbed the iWatch, will be the company’s first foray into a niche product category that many remain sceptical about, especially as to whether it can drive profits as growth slows in tech gadgets.
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s leading personal computer maker Acer announced on Friday that it will debut its first wearable device at the upcoming Computex trade show before shipping the products later this year. Liquid Leap, a one-inch touch-screen smartband with fitness tracking, phone and SMS notification and music control, will be sold together with the Liquid Jade smartphone in selected markets from the third quarter, Acer said.
TAIPEI — Japan’s Sony Mobile Communications announced its first smartband in Taiwan Monday, extending its leadership in the niche market of wearable computing devices to a new product category. The Sony SmartBand SWR10 is waterproof and incorporates a removable core unit that contains advanced sensor technology that feels the wearers’ movements and sends personal fitness data to their smartphones or tablets.
The Liquid Leap provides the wearer with text message and call notifications and, when it isn’t relaying information from a smartphone, can track fitness too. One of a host of new products revealed at a special launch event in New York on Tuesday, the band is just 17mm thick so should be comfortable to wear all day and is meant to keep things simple, or so says Acer.
MediaTek plans to begin volume production of its Aster solutions for wearable device and IoT (Internet of Things) applications in the third quarter of 2014, according to industry sources. Aster will come as a platform solution that includes chips, software, firmware and reference designs, and therefore will be very competitive in the market, the sources noted.
TAIPEI — Acer Inc.’s first wearable computing device could take the form of a fitness band that is expected to be unveiled in the middle of this year, a source with direct knowledge to the matter said. The smartband will be equipped with a small screen to pair with other handsets like a smartphone or a tablet, the source told CNA on condition of anonymity because the information was not public yet.
Vice president of Intel Labs Jesse Fang, at the China Sourcing Fair: Electronics and Components Spring show in Hong Kong, said that wearable devices can be categorized into three major segments: the US$350 to US$500 and above multi-function model, the US$100-350 mid-range, and sub-US$100 single-function models, and about 75% of wearable device profits are earned by hardware players.
It feels like ages since the Samsung Galaxy S5 was revealed (it was nearly seven weeks ago), but now the phone is finally going on sale. Samsung (005930:KS) announced this morning that the phone is now on sale “in 125 countries in Europe, Middle East, North America, Latin America, and most of Asia.” It’s not just Samsung’s newest flagship phone that’s debuting today – the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches and the Samsung Gear Fit are hitting the same markets right now.
Flexible PCB suppliers Flexium Interconnect, Zhen Ding Technology Holding and Career Technology reportedly have delivered FPCB samples for use in iWatch devices to Apple for validation, according to industry sources. Apple is expected to unveil the iWatch wearable devices in September, the sources indicated.
The sketchily specific details from China’s Economic Daily News, reported on Tuesday, claim that the supply chain for the device was recently finalized. The report states that Taiwan’s Quanta Computer has received an exclusive contract to build the device, with 65 million units expected to be built in the first year of availability. The report goes on to say that the so-called “iWatch” will sport custom chips designed in-house by Apple but that some of them will be built at Samsung’s foundry, suggesting the company will continue to rely on its fierce rival for silicon.
Apple is rumored to unveil its wearable device iWatch in the third quarter and will target 65 million units in shipments for 2014, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report. The iWatch will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, while Taiwan-based chip design house Richtek has also entered the supply chain. The device’s touch panel will be supplied by TPK, the paper noted.
Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, HTC, Asustek Computer and Motorola have voiced support for Android Wear, Google’s new platform for wearable devices. Meanwhile, chipset vendors including Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies also plan to release related solutions supporting the new platform.
Innovation in Vietnam can come from the most interesting places. There’s a startup with motorbike theft prevention hardware. There’s one that crowdsources for tours. There’s another that focuses totally on ecommerce logistics. And don’t get me started on Flappy Bird. The list goes on. This week, Topica, one of Vietnam’s most successful online learning platforms, is doing something a bit different with English education. The company, which was founded in 2008, already offers certification online, coordinates with colleges to offer online learning support, and also runs the Founder’s Institute annual incubator program. Now it’s experimenting with using Google Glass to teach students English. The program is called TopMito.