Technology in the COVID-19 era

Stay-at-home economy boosts sales of e-sports laptops and peripherals – spotlight on Taiwan

As consumers have significantly cut down on going out due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns around the world, the “stay-at-home economy” has been one of the main beneficiaries. And to this end, Taiwan is riding the wave created by this new paradigm.

In particular, the trend has driven a new wave of demand for e-sports products. For example, according to the latest market surveys, the sales volume in Q1 this year of ASUS’s ROG e-sports laptops had grown by 40 % compared to last year, making it number 1 in the Taiwanese market. At the same time, sales of Acer’s e-sports laptops in the United States in the first quarter increased hugely by 49%, year-on-year, as it took the top spot in the first quarter with a market share of 25%.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the current e-sports laptop market will grow from just over 17 million units in 2019 to 26.8 million units in 2023. E-sports laptops allow players to satisfy both their entertainment and work needs, while driving sales opportunities for peripheral products, including screens, motherboards, keyboards, mouses, and headsets. Major Taiwanese e-sports manufacturers, such as Asus, rank first in e-sports notebooks with a market share of 39.6%, while the second and third places are held by MSI and Acer, respectively. In the survey about the world’s best e-sports laptops in 2020, by the well-known American technology website “Techradar”, Asus ranked first and third; MSI ranked fourth and Taiwan Excellence brands made up half of the top ten.

ASUS-ROG Strix SCAR III

ASUS’s ROG (Republic of Players), launched a series of products such as ROG Strix SCAR III, ROG Strix Hero III and ROG Strix G this year. ROG Strix is the world’s fastest gaming laptop with 240hz display rate that makes high-FPS gaming silky smooth for fast-paced play. Advanced RGB trim brings greater personalisation to Aura Sync, along with per-key RGB lighting, a wraparound light bar, and Aura Sync-compatible peripherals. Players can open up Shadow Drive with a physical keystone for eye-catching visual light and audio effects, an encrypted but customised profile setup, and quicker profile loading to enhance the gamer’s experience.

MSI GT76

The MSI GT76 Titan features an Intel Core i9-9900K desktop processor, overclocked to 5.0GHz across all 8 cores, and RTX 2080 graphics. All this incredible power is kept cool with MSI’s exclusive Cooler Boost Titan, which has a 4-fan and 11-pipe cooling design, and is able to generate 2.25 times the standard airflow. In order to enhance gamers’ visual experience in their battlefield, the GT76 comes with a 4K IPS-level thin bezel display. This flagship product also features the upgraded Killer DoubleShot Pro now supporting 2.5Gbps LAN and Wi-Fi 6 to provide an unprecedented user experience.

Acer Predator X35 Gaming Monitor

Acer’s Predator X35 is the ultimate gaming monitor for professional hard-core gamers! This 35” IPS ultra-wide QHD 3440×1440 curved 1800R Goliath immerses players completely in the gaming environment. Thanks to VESA DisplayHDR1000 standards, the X35 displays details beautifully, illuminating the darkest blacks and brightest whites. Players can say goodbye to ghosting with G-SYNC Ultimate combined with lightning-fast 200Hz refresh rates and a 2ms response time to bring users a never before experienced seamless, tear-free experience.

GIGABYTE’s Z390 AORUS XTREME WATERFORCE (see photo top-of-page) showcases ultra-cool gaming aesthetics with its state-of-the-art, All-In-One Monoblock which comes in an acrylic cased design with vibrant, digital RGB and embedded dual-lighting effects. The AIO design delivers extreme cooling to the CPU, VRM, PCH, and M.2 SSDs. With GIGABYTE Ultra-Durable Technology components, all-solid capacitors, a fully digital power design, and intelligent fan control, the motherboard is both energy-saving and environmentally friendly.

Smart Epidemic Prevention – AI Robots Moving Up!

As a response to COVID-19, social distancing has been applied for epidemic prevention to reduce human contact. This has led to the resurgence of business opportunities of intelligent unmanned systems. Services such as temperature checks at commercial building entry points, cleaning and disinfecting of large venues, distribution of e-commerce items, security patrols, etc., can all be immediately provided using AI robots so as to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission. According to estimates from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), professional robots in the global service robot market will increase to 736,000 units between 2019-2021, raising the compound growth rate for innovative and smart applications to 21%.

Due to the fact that most developed countries in the world have become ageing societies with less and less children, more innovative applications of AI service robots will be developed in combination with 5G technology. Perceptive AI and autonomous AI of edge computing systems including security monitoring systems, smart life, unmanned driving and robots are Taiwan’s dominant industries. Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology invested NT$5bn in 2018 to promote Taiwan’s AI development, including the establishment of four major AI innovation research centres, a national-level AI computing platform, Maker Space robot, and Moonshot Project to create smart living with concrete plans and tap into future AI business opportunities.

Teco Enviro

In order to create a smart dining environment, TECO’s meal delivery and tray retrieval robot “Enviro” has become Taiwan’s first customised dish collecting robot. The Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) at the bottom uses TECO DC servomechanism and motor and has a maximum load of 40 kilograms. Enviro is equipped with optical radar scanning and ultrasonic sensors. Data is collected and computed using AI automatic navigation system to quickly construct a walking map. It also features a smart obstacle recognition function to prevent collision with passengers and works continuously for more than 8 hours when fully charged.

Mibot

BenQ’s smart medical delivery robot (Mibot) has already been used in Yuanlin Christian Hospital. Mibot can transport wastes, reduce delivery time, lower labor costs as well as risks of cross-contamination. Using an app for smart remote control and management, the robot is easily directed to the designated operating room for transporting. The robot’s body can also be cleaned by wiping alcohol to ensure proper hygiene. Taking into consideration the needs of its customers, BenQ is planning on gradually adding drug transport, disinfection, health education information, and other functions to Mibot.

Micro-Star International has also been investing in R&D of service robots in recent years, combining robot technology with medical staff carts to create the “AI-UVC Disinfection Robot” with UV lights. The robot has already been used in nursing homes and hospitals. It is able to carry out disinfection and cleaning even in public space with dense crowds or poor ventilation, effectively setting up a defence shield for environmental cleanliness. It works as a substitute for extra personnel during periods of epidemic prevention and lowers the risks of infection. The robot is a good match in light of the future trend for daily cleaning operations in medical facilities.

GEOSAT C01 Service Robot

GEOSAT’s C01 Service Robot uses AI algorithms for a core semantic analysis system. The smart system can recognise natural semantics to answer the customers’ questions regarding hotels and stores. It can be seen in Kaohsiung’s E-Da Outlet Mall, and it has also been purchased and applied in large stores in the Philippines.

ASUS Zenbo

Also, the ASUS Zenbo Robot, winner of the Taiwan Excellence Silver Award, is the first home service robot that connects to multiple smart and traditional home appliances as well as sensing devices. It offers functions for assistance, entertainment, and companionship. Should an elderly family member fall, a notification is immediately sent to the smartphone of a pre-determined family member so as to create smart home safety.

Taiwan Excellence offers a wide selection of quality ICT as well as software and hardware products, using smart technology to seize business opportunities with everyone.

Assisting post-pandemic business communication

COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc across the world with no signs of abating. As such, videoconferencing has become an indispensable tool in today’s business communication. Taiwan Excellence has several award-winning ICT software and hardware products. Combined with flexible and rapid integration capabilities from Taiwanese businesses, it is possible to provide complete cloud video business solutions for an immediate and efficient business communication experience.

Remote contacts

Working from home and video conferences are becoming the norm in business while live broadcasts of sports events and online concerts without audiences have caught on. The digitalisation of life has become a reality and 5G networks with high data speed, ultra-low latency and massive network capacity will be at the forefront of leading humanity into a new digital era.

“Socialising at a distance” has become an everyday occurrence during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. When face to face interaction is replaced with virtual socialising, the quality of the sounds and images through which people interact have become crucial.

PerfectCam by Cyberlink has become popular for those who need to work from home. Features include Background Blur to keep surroundings private during video meetings, applying instant makeup with AR powered appearance optimisation and adjustable camera settings to ensure the best lighting in any environment.

Embrace Audio Lab XPUMP 3D Audio Processor

Embrace Audio Lab’s XPUMP 3D Audio Processor, which won the 2020 Taiwan Excellence Silver Award, also stands out. It can add the surround effect to any ordinary stereo speakers or earphones and boost the details in every soundtrack, offering users immersive enjoyment.

Connectivity plays a critical role in virtual socialising. The 5G NR Router by D-Link provides 5G internet connectivity through an 802.11ax wireless network, allowing users with internet access with speeds 10 times faster than the current LTE standard.

ACER Swift 7

Also, the ultimate solution to a compatible remote working tool would no doubt be Acer’s Swift 7, another 2020 Taiwan Excellence Silver Award winner. Measuring just 9.95mm thin and 890g light, the 14″ FHD IPS touch-enabled laptop boasts an 8th Gen Intel Core processor and supplies up to 12 hours of battery life.

As regular participants at IFA Berlin, Taiwanese technology players applaud all moves by the organisers of this great event to make a limited edition this year. No doubt, when borders reopen in Asia, Taiwan’s trade association will continue to be a strong supporter of the event.