During a company year-end party, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih was asked about the company's progress in developing smart wearables. He said that the first device will likely come in the form of a watch, and that the company will put its entire design thought into it.
"There are actually many challenges in this area, and I don't think products that lack special features will be useful. We'll try to replace your watch by all means," Shih said
The question arrives after Asus told investors in November 2013 that the company plans to reveal several devices this June at Computex 2014. The company's rivals are already striking gold in the smartwatch sector including Sony's Smartwatch 2, Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Qualcomm's Toq.
Just this week, an unnamed Acer source said that his company plans to debut a smart device in the second half of 2014, and that it would be distinctive, standing out from the competition. The device could possibly be a necklace sporting body temperature sensors and the ability to connect to a smartphone.
"We hope we could have a distinctive product when we introduce it. So we will not launch it in a hurry during the first quarter and will likely make it available globally in the second half," the source said.
2014 looks to be the year of the wearables thanks to Google and its Glass smartglasses, Oculus VR and its Rift gaming-focused HMD, current players like Sony and Samsung, and those promising devices sometime this year like Archos and Razer. Even those rumored to be working on devices, such as Microsoft and Apple, are helping fuel the wearable fires this year.
The problem device makers will have in 2014 will be in differentiating themselves from the competition. Each wearable device will need to make a lasting first impression, especially those gadgets that are up there in price. As retail products, they'll need features that consumers want and can't live without. What we don't want to see is a collection of high-dollar junk because device makers are simply jumping on the "me too" bandwagon.
Expect to see and hear more about wearables this June during Computex 2014.