Acer's CEO Jason Chen understands that smartwatches are the future. The company announced a new smartwatch/fitness band at Computex in Taiwan on Monday. The Liquid Leap aims to handle the fitness tracker piece by tracking your steps, distance, how many calories you burn and your sleep patterns. The Leap does some smartwatch things too, by sending and receiving texts and email messages. The device only works with Acer's Liquid Jade smartphone for now, although further Android and iOS availability is coming soon.
Chen says that he doesn't know how the Liquid Leap is going to stand out from the crowded smartwatch market, though. "We believe over time the market will prove itself," he said in an interview with Engadget. "What we have to do is get the product [out] and see how it goes. This is the first product we've introduced in the wearable market, and it won't be the last. We understand the market is going up, and we have to make sure we don't miss it. What we are learning, the industry is also learning."
Basically, Acer is bringing this watch to market with no real plan except to ride the wave of wearables and hope they can make some money along the way. Acer doesn't have a solid plan for the Liquid Leap or any other wearable device they end up selling, at least for now. The Leap isn't a perfect smartwatch or fitness band, but better to have something available than nothing at all. Acer is pushing out the Leap to see what happens, and make improvements along the way. With as cheaply as these types of wearables can be made, it's not a bad strategy.
Other companies have forged the way with a similar approach. Pebble and Samsung both have early versions of their smartwatches that just aren't that good. The Pebble Steel and Gear 2 are much further along than the predecessors. It sounds like Acer is attempting to follow in their footsteps. Chen has only been at the helm for about five months, and the company is floundering as the PC market grows smaller. He's leaning on the brand that Acer has built, but the Liquid Leap is just a shot in the dark.