Asustek pondering smartwatch with voice, movement control

Asustek pondering smartwatch with voice, movement control

CNA

2014-03-10

Asustek Computer is envisioning developing a wearable device that can be controlled using voice commands or customizable hand movements, according to the chairman of the Taiwanese PC maker.

Jonney Shih said Sunday that Asustek’s first wearable device — widely expected to be a smartwatch — will be used to complement a smartphone rather than be launched as a standalone device because smartphones have the more mature applications that consumers covet.

The company, however, is considering new options for the user interface on the wearable device rarely seen on touch-enabled smartphones because of the device’s smaller screen, Shih said.

“There would be more natural user interfaces such as voice or movement controls, although more breakthroughs are needed in these areas,” Shih said when answering students’ questions at a job fair organized by National Taiwan University.

Another key issue to be addressed for the planned Asustek device is power consumption, which should be lowered to about a tenth of that of a smartphone even though it will run voice- or movement-based features, Shih said.

Asked about Asustek’s strategy to take on challenges from China’s low-cost Android phone makers, Shih described the market as “a must-face challenge” for Asustek and said that his company will tap into the segment aggressively with “attractive prices.”

Voice or gesture control is actually not a new feature in the booming wearable device market, which could reach US$20.6 billion by 2018 on worldwide shipments of 191 million devices, according to estimates by Taiwan’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center.

Martian Watches, a California-based developer, unveiled in 2012 the world’s first voice-enabled smartwatch that lets users give voice commands, such as sending or receiving calls and texts, to iPhone or Android handsets.

In Oct. 2013, Japanese electronics maker Sony launched its new SmartWatch 2, a water-resistant watch that connects to Android devices via Bluetooth or near-field communication (NFC) wireless technology.

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics also debuted new smartwatches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fair in February.

The watches sported features for daily living, such as controlling one’s TV set at home and offering personal fitness coaching in real time.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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