LIVE FROM IFA 2016: Acer unveiled new phablet and smartphone products, although the devices did not get much of a look-in when it came to the company’s launch event today.

Instead, the vendor focused on opportunities in markets such as VR, healthcare and pet tracking, as well as computing products designed to drive sales in what is something of a lacklustre market.

Acer announced the acquisition of Pawbo, the company behind an eponymous “interactive wireless pet camera with treat dispensing and laser pointing capabilities.

The product comes as part of Acer’s BeingWare initiative of hardware, software and services intended to “break barriers between people and technology”.

Acer and partner grandPad are also working with Swisscom on a pilot programme which sees the companies’ senior care technology deployed for the first time outside the US.

The grandPad Senior tablet is said to be unique because it is designed for “super seniors” (over 75 years old), offering a way for users to stay connected with family, friends and care givers.

And Acer and entertainment content company Starbreeze said they have begun shipments of VR headsets to Imax, in preparation for the opening of a new VR centre in Los Angeles, with others to follow in the near future.

The companies highlighted advanced display capabilities including 5K resolution and ultra-wide 210 degree field of view.

PC updates
While Acer showcased a number of PCs here at IFA, two stood out from the rest.

The company’s Swift 7 is said to be the world’s first laptop to measure less than 1cm in depth, also weighing in at just over 1Kg.

With a 13.3-inch full HD display and Intel Core i5 processor, the computer has an aluminium body and black-and-gold dual tone design.

Predator 21 X_03For gaming users, the company revealed what it described as “the world’s first notebook with a curved screen” and 21-inch display, called Predator 21X (pictured).

As the flagship in its gaming device line, it also includes eye-tracking technology, enabling gamers to aim, identify enemies and take cover “simply by gazing at objects on the screen”.

Smartphones and phablet
Targeting “business professionals, frequent travellers and cost-conscious consumers”, the Iconia Talk 4S phablet includes 4G connectivity and has dual-SIM support.

Featuring an HD (720 pixel) 7-inch screen, it is powered by a quadcore MediaTek processor. The company highlighted an “anti-slip finish that enables a firmer, more secure grip to help avoid accidental drops”.

It will be available in EMEA imminently, with prices starting at $169.

With regards to smartphones, the Liquid Z6 line is said to offer “an excellent entertainment experience with a high-definition IPS panel and an elegant 2.5D curved glass display”.

The mid-range Liquid Z6 has 5-inch full HD display, quadcore processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 8MP main and 2MP front cameras.

The higher-spec Liquid Z6 Plus has 5.5-inch full-HD display, octacore processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 13MP main and 5MP front cameras.

Liquid Z6 will be available in EMEA in November, with prices starting at €119.

Liquid Z6 Plus will follow in December, at €249.