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Acer's first wearable said to be unveiled in the middle of 2014

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.

The fitness band could be launched in partnership with local hospitals or fitness centers as Acer is seeking to build an ecosystem for its wearable devices rather than just selling hardware products, the person said.

It is unclear how many wearable devices Acer plans to launch this year, the person said.

Handset makers like Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. have been among others to offer smartwatches or smartbands, while Web search giant Google Inc. has championed in the smart glasses field.

Global shipments of wearable devices in 2014 are forecast to exceed 19 million units and could continue to grow over the next few years at a compound annual growth rate of 78.4 percent to about 112 million units in 2018, research firm IDC said in a report released on Apr. 10.

IDC said complex accessories, such as a combination of fitness and wearable computing devices, will lead the wearable market through 2018 as consumers embrace the products' simplicity and low prices.

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