Acer revealed a lot of tablets today. We saw a dual-screen 14-inch laptop called the Iconia, along with a myriad of other Windows 7 and Android devices. However, along with their tablets, Acer also launched a media sharing system called clear.fi.
clear.fi is essentially home media center set-up that allows users to easily share content across all the computers, laptops and phones in the house. It comes embedded on Acer-brand devices and supports multiple formats across multiple platforms and it all runs through WiFi. The idea is that no matter what room you're in or device you're using, you'll always be able to easily access your pictures, videos and music.
Obviously this is an extremely useful application, especially for households with three or four laptops. However, with this comes a problem. What if you don't want people accessing your hard drive? Your in-laws come over for Thanksgiving dinner and you're looking at holiday snaps when all of a sudden, someone clicks somewhere they shouldn't and you're left trying to explain away the more, er, private things on your computer. Acer told us today that there's a shared folder for each computer, so you can pick and choose what you want accessible by clear.fi. If you're still not into sharing, you can choose to leave certain machines off the network completely.
For people visiting your house and logging onto your WiFi for a limited time, it's a similar deal. A little notice will pop up asking them if they want to share anything or if they want to leave sharing off.
As an additional feature, clear.fi also allows you to upload and share pictures to social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr. There's also a YouTube channel where you can watch videos or push them to another device in the house for streaming.
clear.fi is a great idea for people who perhaps would have no clue how to set up a home media server, but the less tech-savvy might have a problem differentiating this from the likes of Google and Apple TV, which focus on selling the customer new content rather than allowing them to do more with the content they already have. Conversely, users who want new content may initially overlook clear.fi because, for now, it's focusing on media the user already has. When Acer launches its 'alive' store next year, customers will be able to buy content from there and push and pull that content to and from different devices on their clear.fi network. However, until then, it's just a big library of what you already have.