Hey, remember the time when Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci got on stage, ripped a netbook in two and unveiled its Android tablet? Us neither, but who knows, it might all happen
in the next hour or so. We're there covering it live, and the action is supposed to start around
11:00AM ET. Join us!
12:22PM Liquid Metal in the US? It's been picked up by Rogers, but for the US... while the company is working with AT&T and T-Mobile (no CDMA), no word on what phone might come out.
12:18PM Q: "Do these tablets have names?" A: It' something we need to register. Some tentative names, internally. Should be figured out in the next few weeks.
12:15PM Q (from us!): Anything on Chrome OS? A: Google has its own agenda on when to announce before commercial launch. Google is doing "something" in December, Acer is joining with consumer launch early next year.
12:07PM All tablets will start under Acer brand. In the future, Gateway tablets are in the cards.
12:06PM Q: How many tablets do you want to sell next year, and what was the availability? A: Plan to see them available from February / March, Q1. Windows probably February. Android, "depends when Android tablet will release / be available." Don't want to introduce Android with a phone OS>
12:05PM Q: Will it work on other operating systems? A: Not sure, but we think so. Wong was pretty vague.
12:03PM Q&A time! All the execs have taken the stage.
12:02PM We're now getting a presentation of the alive store on touch. Decently smooth, albeit some bit of lag.
12:01PM Alive is launching in UK and Italy starting December 20th (Windows 7 clients), followed by "several European, Asian countries and Americas" by Q2 2011. And then cross-device and cross-platform by end of first quarter next year.
12:00PM Initial content providers include Adobe, 7digital, Acetrax, Intel, Kowalski, CMS, Zinio, La Republica, URRA, APogeo, Muzu.TV, AudioGo, and more.
12:00PM 2,000 titles "from Top Hollywood studios." More than 15,000 music videos. 8 million songs. Thousands of e-books, top news pubs, newspapers, magazines, and "thousands casual games."
11:58AM Alive recommends: "the mroe you use alive the better it'll become at suggesting things you'll like." It's smart functionality, we'll admit, but next-generation?
11:57AM Price note: Iron Man 2 is 10.99 British pounds, and expires 2013. Better watch soon!
11:56AM Purchases are stored as meta-data in the cloud, so you can access from wherever.
11:55AM Acetrax is a launch partner for movies / video.
11:55AM Can also sort by categories, and... well, you know how this works. It's a pretty standard app store presentation, although we will say the user interface is pretty slick.
11:53AM It's very... colorful. Listen, watch, read, play, "get apps" and "See everything" are the top functions. Some highlights below, and various content selections below that.
11:53AM Cloud management -- you can watch what you purchase whenever. We're now being treated to a screenshot.
11:51AM "It's feeding the user interface where you're in, in real-time." Also, "global-local," in the sense that Acer is a global company that understands local needs. Or something. "We're only relying on famous and well-known content providers [globally and locally]."
11:49AM "What's different compared to the thousands of stores you can find around?" Yes, we would love to know that. Apparently that's "real-time."
11:48AM "People need to enjoy their relationship and interaction with their devices." People are losing the interaction. Lamenting over the Old Times, when one would go to the music store and get new purchase suggestions.
11:47AM "Introducing the concept of a new, next-generation store." He'll explain why it's called "next" generation... soon. Not yet. Don't keep us waiting!
11:47AM "The definition of product is something tied into your personalities. Something that's impacting your experience, everyday interacting with the world." Lanci looks bored.
11:45AM Gianpiero Morbello, Acer's VP for Marketing and Brand, to talk about the store -- alive.
11:44AM "I am..." free, fun, expected, everywhere. Lots of hip kids interspersed with bouncing text. Sensory overload. "I am... alive."
11:44AM Now to discuss the "next-generation store," here's... a promo video.
11:43AM Jim Wong is off the stage.
11:42AM A "thank you" is now in order.
11:41AM Aceer Revo touted as a multimedia center. "Connect it to your LCD display and enjoy any of your multimedia contents directly to your TV."
11:40AM YouTube is listed as a source but not a destination (Facebook and Flickr are considered both). Local storage and connected devices are also filed under the sources.
11:39AM The UI puts the sources in the left column, the destination in the right column, and that chunk in the middle? All the content (video, photo, music -- note: not games) is in the middle.
11:38AM "All you need is a router and a WiFi connection." Auto-discovers connected devices, and from there it's easy to search media files. "No more than a simple 'drag and drop' to play,s ave media files to the connected devices or publish to social network." We see icons for Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube.
11:36AM ... and "sharable" with any device in the house (i.e. same WiFi network).
11:36AM Clear.fi is a media sahring system. "No more DVDs / CDs / USB keys." Seamless streaming. Content is immediately "visible" on any device.
11:34AM "With clear.fi, when you download content to one device, it's immediately available to all others. Clear.fi also works with touch technology computers." Simply download what you want to any clear.fi-enabled device. You can assign to a compact storage device. "Within seconds, you can enjoy your own personal library." Looks like that applies to games as well as movies / music.
11:33AM Hardware's over -- that's so 45 seconds ago. And now we're onto clear.fi. Promo video time!
11:33AM 1.3MP front camera, 8MP back camera with LED flash, HD 720p video recording. 6-axis motion sensing. LED edge lighting.
11:32AM Not slowing down! "100 percent smartphone. 100 percent tablet." Launching April 2011. Ultra-wide 4.8-inch screen with 1024 x 480 resolution. Android (doesn't say what version). "Evolution of Acer UI."
11:32AM A 7-inch tablet -- still aptly called "7-inch tablet." Same resolution, 1280 x 800. Also launching. April 2011. 1.2GHz Qualcomm dual core with Flash 10.1 support.
11:30AM Something tells us this isn't the "Android Tablet OS" at the moment; looks like a stretched-out Froyo. HDMI output (720p), 1280 x 800 resolution.
11:30AM April 2011 launch time. 1GHz processor with Flash 10.1. "Google Android Tablet OS" and Acer UI 4.5, 4MP rear-facing camera.
11:29AM Now at the next table, all the way down the catwalk (yeah, the catwalk -- last time we use that joke, we swear). A 10.1-inch Android tablet.
11:29AM It shows the keyboard coming up with only five fingers this time, before the second hand pops in, although we suspect that's just a commercial error. We'll know for sure when we get some hands-on time soon.
11:28AM Time for an Iconia promo video!
11:27AM HDMI output, the screen is 10.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 resolution). Promotes 720p.
11:27AM Coming February 2011. A Windows 7 machine. Dual cameras (1.3 megapixel), pretty slim, we gotta say. AMD dual core processor.
11:26AM Next up, a 10.1-inch convertible tablet.
11:26AM "A more direct and engaging experience" to allow users to use fingers to interact with the system. Wong: all touch gestures are created by Acer on top of Windows 7. SDK for that being offered beginning of December.
11:24AM "What we want to highlight here is one more thing." A touch browser. The page bleeds from the top screen to the bottom, and there's controls on the very bottom of the secondary display.
11:24AM Media management on the bottom, video on the top screen.
11:23AM "When I put five fingers on display, it shows Acer menu." Access to touch-friendly video, photo, and browsing pages. Slides along a circular pop-up.
11:21AM "Essentially you have an intelligent touch engine. Intelligence to know what you're doing." Which is a nice way of saying, ten fingers equates to "I want a keyboard." Stretches across entirety of bottom display.
11:21AM Put both hands on bottom display, and it responds to the gesture to pop up the keyboard.
11:20AM When not used as a second traditional dispaly, there's a horizontal windows management function for the bottom screen.
11:20AM The second LCD is in lieu of the keyboard. Looks very glossy from here. Running Windows 7. Management tools in place to allow windows management.
11:19AM First up is Iconia, "a true touch excellence. Looks like a dual-screen notebook with two LCDs.
11:18AM Five devices to be introduced, all with touch.
11:18AM Touch lineup! Here we go. "Rather than tablet-only, there's a lot of uses for touch. We think about touch. It should have the complete experience itself." Productivity, entertainment, information accessing.
11:17AM A platform for how the devices will interact with each other.
11:16AM "A change in behavior, and a change in what consumers want." Two tables have been set up on the catwalk. Jim Wong, senior corp VP of Acer / President of ITGO, takes the stage to talk "interact."
11:16AM Important to make sure same user experience across all platforms. And with that, Lanci is dropping from the stage. Next!
11:14AM "We're also going to announce today... a new generation of store." For music, video, newspapers, gaming. You hear that? Another new store! O, calloo callay! Will work on any Acer device.
11:13AM Cloud computing lesson. "Doesn't matter where the content is stored. From one devices to another. Not only traditional PC or smartphone world." Last, when you talk about content, people are becoming a lot more demanding. "When you look at the internet user, big percentage is browsing and emailing, but then you start to see music, video, gaming."
11:12AM "First concept, but you will see the level of different application that you can do with it." Still no hardware to see, but hey, we know it's coming!
11:12AM Tegra CPU -- "very good with video management and gaming." Also going to introduce a totally new concept. "It's what we call dual PC tablet." Redesigned completely for touch experience. Ten-finger detection, gestures.
11:11AM "Today we're going to announce an entire family of tablets." Five, seven, and ten inches. Variety of systems. Productivity, gaming.
11:10AM "With the combination of devices on one side, and content on another. Different form factor, different solutions. Customers require different solutions." Much more dynamic that what we've seen in the past... can we get to the tablet now?
11:09AM "I think we will see the next years, 500 to 600 million new internet user. And more than two-third of these users will be mobile users. If you think about mobile devices, smartphone / netbook / tablet... something of a half billion units."
11:08AM "User they want to control and manage the media they get." We get the feeling this is going to be a long event, grab some popcorn.
11:07AM "When you think about content consumption, you might start to think about a number of different devices. Because the needs are different." Music, news, gaming, reading. "I think we will see the future a variety of form factors and devices." And you know what that means -- yes, likely a multitude of new Acer products with a dizzying number of model numbers. Or so we guess.
11:06AM Acer is number one in PC, "almost" number one in mobile.
11:05AM "Technology is part of work, is part of social life, but people can have very different perceptions... of technology. And this is why define the theme of these event 'interact.' Whether they like it or not, they always use technology. They use it in a lot of different ways."
11:04AM "Today we are here to see what we want to do in terms of digital convergence."
11:03AM CEO Gianfranco Lanci takes the stage! "Welcome to New York again." Third time Acer's been here and have had global press conference.
11:02AM "We've reached yet another level" with the upcoming device. Three speakers are being planned to talk about "our vision, our strategy, our devices. And how those devices are being tied" with services.
11:02AM First Acer exec takes the stage to talk about -- what else -- the catwalk. "Beautiful people in beautiful clothes" with unhappy model faces. "Hopefully today will be happy."
11:01AM In case you haven't noticed, there's a cat walk. Yeah, there's a catwalk. We're just about to begin!
10:58AM We're here and in our seats. Gianfranco Lanci is just chillin' right across from us.