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Acer plans wearable device for late 2014

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Acer Inc. is planning to get into the wearable computing game with a “distinctive” wearable device coming in the second half of this year that will stand out from the competition, a company source revealed.

“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 told CNA on condition of anonymity because the project has not been made public.

While Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., among others, have offered smartwatches and Google Inc. has championed smart glasses, those forms “are not the only options” for Acer, the source said.

The device could take the form of a necklace with body temperature sensors and would likely be able to pair with smartphones or work independently, though Acer has apparently not finalized its decision yet.

Making the leap from computers and tablets could prove a wise decision for the PC-maker, as analysts forecast the global wearable device market will see big gains in coming years as the technology becomes more popular.

The wearable device market could reach US$20.6 billion by 2018 on worldwide shipments of 191 million units, according to estimates by the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) under Taiwan's state-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Research firm Gartner Inc. has forecast that the majority of revenue from wearable smart electronics over the next four years will come from athletic shoes and fitness tracking, communications devices for the ear and automatic insulin delivery for diabetics.

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