Acer’s product design is focused around a people-centric spirit and approach which asks the following fundamental questions:
We strive to understand our users’ needs and behaviors and hope that we can offer technological solutions to humanity’s problems. At the same time, we take into account technological and commercial feasibility. Acer’s innovative R&D process is one which is built around learning through testing and around cooperation across fields.
In 2017 we continued to innovate.
Products and Services that Respond to Society
Acer’s development direction is built around the UN SDGs, and through the promotion of the widespread application of technology, we hope to help humanity find innovative solutions to the problems we face and achieve an improved quality of life. In 2017 we launched the next-generation aBeing Cloud platform, adopting “Si-innovation Island” as our vision and pursuing the adoption of BeingWare cloud-based solutions in transport, healthcare, commerce, and mobile lifestyles.
Through discussions with senior management of each business group, Acer has begun to link our technology, products, and services with the UN SDGs; lay out a business development strategy; and look at how we can continue employing our core competencies needs address society’s needs. In 2017, we continued to launch a variety of new products and services while also reinforcing our sustainability management mechanism in order to respond to the UN SDGs.
Acer Altos VDI for Education
Almost all existing education networks adopt the PC model. However, an increasing number of schools and institutions are facing a series of problems relating to PC networking, from significant amounts of maintenance work and the cost of upgrading hardware & software to poor information security and inconsistent management. These can often lead to serious difficulties in maintenance and attendant high costs.
Acer Altos VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) for Education uses desktop virtualization technology to make the desktop, not the PC, the fundamental part of the structure. Through Acer Altos virtual machine (VM) servers, users and administrators can then install operating systems and applications on VMs. Administrators can assign virtual machines to users as needed, and user desktops no longer need to be accompanied by high-powered PCs; all that is needed is a safe, easily managed cloud-computing terminal and a user can connect to the VM server at the data center, making use of the server to transfer data to the end user as they use their VM.
Through the “Cloud Terminal + Cloud Desktop” approach, Acer provides user with a one-stop desktop virtualization solution that greatly simplifies desktop deployment and management. In this way, end users can be provided with a familiar PC experience with enterprise-level reliability, information protection, and disaster recovery capabilities with reduced costs and increased flexibility. This solution can help educational organizations and businesses save some 20% to 40% in overall costs.
Acer VR Unlimited Museum
Virtual reality (VR) is the use of computers to create a simulated three-dimensional space. Through simulated visual and auditory stimuli, VR gives users an immersive experience. When the user moves, the computer can generate accurate visual responses, creating a sense of presence. This technology brings together the latest developments in 3D CGI, sensors, displays, and networking.
The Acer VR Unlimited Museum lets anyone visit museums like the National Palace Museum at any time of the day with just VR equipment, enabling them to explore as though they were really there. Previously, when exhibitions are over, their hosts will compile the highlights into book form; now, with new VR technology, these exhibitions can come back to life.
The social value of the VR Unlimited Museum includes:
VeriSee DR: Retinal health check system for people with diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that is having an increasingly serious impact. In several countries, as much as 10% of the population is diabetic. It is a condition that can cause a number of serious complications, among which one of the most severe is potential vision loss, which can have a marked impact on daily life. It is, in fact, already the leading cause of blindness among adults in the developed world. However, with the unequal distribution of medical resources today, it is common that specialists will first take retinal scans for later formal diagnosis by doctors. There can be a delay of several days between scan and notification, and as such many people can lose their sense of urgency about follow-up consultations, leading in turn to irreversible loss of vision.
VeriSee DR is an AI tool developed by Acer that uses clinical data gathered from a large number of people living with diabetes, both retinal scans and professional medical diagnoses, and through deep learning has developed a core capability to automatically detect diabetic retinopathy.
The barrier to use for VeriSee DR is low; with simple training, almost anyone can conduct a scan without the need for an ophthalmologist on site. Anyone from nurses and general clinicians to mobile clinic volunteers and even staff at eyeglass stores can operate the scanning service and help people get an initial diagnosis and follow-up quickly and conveniently, thus reducing the risk of permanent vision loss.
e-Bike Batteries: More Efficient Energy Usage
With the popularity of outdoor activities and growing environmental awareness, more and more people are taking up bicycling.
Acer has developed an e-bike battery module that uses a high-discharge-rate cell with battery management technology to effectively extend the life of the battery. Compliant with EU safety standards, this battery has also earned certification and subsidies in Taiwan. The module is designed with safety features to prevent over-heating, over-charging, and the propagation of fire between cells, making for a high-quality, highly safe battery fit to be sold worldwide. This long-lasting battery also has its own app that enables riders to monitor data like route, battery capacity, speed, and battery temperature, helping them stay on top of their bicycle’s condition and their route planning. The product can also be tailor-designed for different customers to fit a broad range of applications.
Smart Passenger Recommendation Platform: Built on AI technology to capture passenger flow in real time
The Smart Passenger Recommendation Platform uses AI technology based on big data to conduct hot-spot analysis, forecast demand, and make smart recommendations, enabling drivers to stay on top of passenger flow in real time.
The “hot-spots” of hot-spot analysis are the areas where the greatest demand for cars has been based on historical car and passenger data. Through analyzing particular parameters (e.g., day of the week, time period, or physical region) and outside information (weather, holidays, events, etc.), the system can provide drivers with the location of hot spots in particular areas. Demand forecasting, meanwhile, is based on current situational information (including location, time, and outside information) and uses a combination of statistical methods and machine learning algorithms, building a demand forecasting model to determine the demand for cars in different areas at different times. Smart recommendation combines hot-spot analysis, demand forecasting, and current taxi position to recommend to drivers which areas to prioritize and which hot-spots to seek out passengers from.
Data Analysis and User Research
Working with data from Taiwan Taxi Company, after having carried out pre-processing of the data and verified its integrity and accuracy, Acer’s Data Analysis Team has integrated it with external environmental data and conducted analysis and visualization to understand the taxi industry better. Combining knowledge from the industry, statistical methods, and machine learning, the team has established a model for forecasting taxi demand and passenger pick-up locations.
Through user research plans and methods, the team, made up of members from different specialties, can meet users in person and collect first-hand information. After collation and analysis of the data, they can get insights into the information drivers need in their work. They can also see how drivers consider and interpret that information, as well as getting feedback on the software interface.
Interface Design and App/Platform Systems Development
Based on analysis of customer demand and the data forecasting model, we can discuss and define a system architecture, functionality, and data prioritization that best suits the needs of end users. From there, the interface design goes through a prototyping tool that compiles the concept into a logical interface framework. Then, through visualization of the information, we create a user-friendly man-machine interface. Software designers and system architects are closely involved in design discussions during the process, creating prototypes and systems, tracking overall usage as appropriate, and conducting a variety of stress tests to continuously optimize the service experience.
IMAX VR Ticketing System
In cooperation with IMAX, Acer has taken customer demand and VR entertainment to create a unique box office experience, a cloud-based ticketing management platform. This platform includes front-end ticketing website and in-person ticket sales systems and equipment, as well as back-end file creation and management. The advantages of this cloud-based ticketing system include: Integration of online and offline sales and show times, providing a complete ticketing program that fits the special
requirements of VR; Supports not only credit card payment, but also common Chinese and third-party mobile payment, Alipay, WeChat Pay, and more; Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and English); Users can find showings quickly and easily; Provides group tickets and discount coupons to facilitate marketing;
Back-office staff are hierarchically organized, with accounts having different permissions to facilitate a unified system of control; And provides a variety of analytical reports to facilitate decision-making in marketing.
Smart cars are an important part of the smart city environment, and the “Internet of Vehicles” is the future of smart cars. Combining cars with smart tools, we can collect data and put it to use in a variety of applications, creating different user experiences and business opportunities.
Acer’s R&D team has developed an Internet of Vehicles system that extends IOT technology to vehicles. Through big data analysis of vehicle controller data and cloud services, we can provide users with a range of vehicle-related functions, such as driving records, trip analysis, parking location, maintenance reminders, breakdown warnings, push advertising, and electronic locks. Such functions enable users to enjoy smarter drives. At the same time, through the collection and big data analysis of driving data, we can analyze driving behavior and predict part failures, alerting the user in advance that maintenance or other services are required, thus enhancing the user’s driving experience.
Smart Parking Meter Management System
Urban parking is a problem shared around the world. Acer’s Smart Parking Meter Management System lets road users search for real-time roadside parking information through an app, greatly reducing the time required to find parking spaces. Through big data collection and analysis, those managing parking can more efficiently stay on top of parking turnover rate at different times, while smart meters can identify car license plates, reducing the need for manual billing and streamlining payment processes. This system was first put in place in Tainan in 2017 and will be expanded to Kaohsiung, Taipei, and New Taipei Cities in 2018. In February 2018, our Smart Parking Meter Management System won the WICTA “Global ICT Excellence Award – Private Sector Excellence,” known as the Oscars of ICT
and held in Hyderabad, India.
Parking Lot App—The best way to find parking spaces and compare price
Parking Lot App is an app available for Android and iOS.
After registering an account, drivers can provide their credit card information and, after this information has been matched with a database of credit card discounts, be given information on which parking lots have applicable discounts going. If a driver simply wants to find a spot they can get into and out of quickly, after linking their credit card details with their license plate number, the app can point them to a cooperating parking lot where they will be able to pay without having to leave the car.
Thanks to how the app has met the needs of drivers, over 20,000 people have rated it on Google Play, giving it an average rating of 4.7 stars. It was also selected by Google Play as the Best Lifestyle Apps of 2017, as an Editor’s Choice app, and as a highlighted “Made in Taiwan” app.