Acer is the latest company with its sights set on the growing wearables space. The company debuted its first-ever smartwatch, the Liquid Leap, at the Computex conference in Taiwan on Monday, but it won’t hit markets until this summer.
The device is part fitness tracker and part smartwatch, with the promises of keeping you updated on daily activity; it monitors steps taken, distance, calories burned and sleep while performing smartwatch-like tasks, including sending and receiving emails and text messages.
The device, which is available in various colors including orange, pink, white and black, resembles a fitness tracker more than anything else. The slim band is strikingly similar to the Fitbit with a touch of the Jawbone Up, but features brighter (and better) colors, plus a beautiful display. Although it’s also made of rubber, similar to the competitors, its slim form factor looks more like jewelry than other models on the market.
The Liquid Leap will only work with Acer’s Liquid Jade phone, which limits the amount of consumers who will be able to get their hands on the smartwatch. It’s unclear whether Acer will open this up to other smartphones in the future.
Acer hasn’t announced the price, but said it will cost less than €99 in Europe ($135), according to Engadget. Because the company hasn’t revealed much in terms of details and specs, it’s hard to say at this point how it will stack up against competitors.
It’s no surprise that Acer is interested in the wearable market, as consumer interest is only heating up. Earlier this year, research firm Canalys reported that smartwatch shipments are projected to reach 8 million in 2014. That number is estimated to grow to more than 23 million units by 2015 and more than 45 million by 2017.
As of now, Fitbit accounts for 50% of the 2.7 million wearable bands, including fitness trackers and smartwatches, that shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2014.
As for smartwatches, the Pebble continues to dominate market share with 35% of sales, followed by the Sony SmartWatch (29%) and the Samsung Gear (23%).