Asia’s biggest tech trade show, Computex Taipei, is often seen as a good source of signs about the latest technology trends. This year, the signs all point toward wearable technology, as well as greater interconnection of appliances and services that we depend on.
As could be expected, big Taiwanese computer manufacturers came out with their latest and most powerful machines, ranging from laptops to smartphones.
Counting on the popularity of self-photography, or selfies, ASUS is boasting its newest smartphone with 13-megapixel cameras, both front and rear, as well as a powerful flash.
IvyLink from China is promoting its smart ring that can send and receive messages or calls between couples. If you rub it, it will send a signal to your partner. It can also lock and unlock your smart door or relay basic information about you to the nearest smartphone if you suffer from dementia.
But Martyn Williams, a senior correspondent for IDG News Service, said this year’s Computex is not as exciting as expected.
“I have been coming to the Computex for 15 years, and this is certainly the smallest show I have seen so far," the technology journalist said. "I think it's partly the growing importance of the Chinese vendors, but also services are getting more important.”
Google has yet to release its smart glasses, but Taiwanese company ChipSip is already showcasing its own glasses for specialized purposes, such as museum guided tours. Other manufacturers think their glasses may be useful in offices, stores and factories.
A number of firms exhibited their versions of smart watches. But Williams said he was disappointed with the level of innovation this year.
“Fitness trackers, simple smart watches — everyone has them, but the industry really seems to be looking to the U.S, and especially Apple, for some sort of innovations, some sort of ideas that would make people actually go out and buy them,” he said.
Wearable electronics need suitable power sources, so batteries are another product being featured, such as a bendable cell suitable to be incorporated into garments.
Following the trend in cloud computing, the Taiwan-based firm Acer exhibited technology that offers not only data storage but also active service to businesses.
The firm says its "Build Your Own Cloud" service can be adapted to manage smart cars, hospital patients, surveillance cameras or even household appliances.
The Computex trade show runs through Saturday.