Razer Nabu Smart Band: Notifications, Fitness and Social on Your Wrist
The Razer Nabu is a new wearable device from a company best known for gaming accessories and devices with a focus on delivering notifications, tracking the data you want tracked and connecting to other users through a social component.
While CES 2014 is overrun with wearable technology and smart watches, Razer designed the Nabu to deliver the notifications that smart watch users want as well as life tracking with a variety of sensors in an affordable package that is not nearly as large as most smart watches.
The Razer Nabu is a ,”wearable device that helps you live smarter.” according to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan who provided Gotta Be Mobile with an early look at the new Smart Band.
Razer put a lot of thought into creating a product that will stand out and deliver what consumers want without burdening the user with a need to constantly charge the band or displaying calls and notification to anyone who might be glancing at your wrist. According to Razer the Nabu battery life is 7-10 days and the device is splashproof so you should be OK wearing it during most activities, outside of swimming.
Tan made a big deal about privacy of alerts, pointing out that just as anyone can look at the time on your watch, anyone can see who is calling or part of a message they send on a traditional smartwatch. The Razer Nabu uses a public facing top OLED screen to show a icon for the notification with a second screen that turns on when the user moves to look at it on the inner part of the user’s wrist that shows the detailed information.
The Razer Nabu works with iPhone and Android devices and Tan claims it will deliver most of the regular notifications you get on iOS or Android right out of the box.
In addition to notifications, the Razer Nabu also collects Bio data like steps taken and distance walked. It also acts as a sleep tracker to deliver waking patterns, duration and sleep optimized alarms to users. Thanks to the smart phone connection the band can also track your location. Users can control which data the device collects and stores. Users can control what data apps have access to.
From a social standpoint the Nabu uses a new wireless protocol that is passive and gesture activated to bring social connections to the real world. Users can configure the Nabu to auto friend or connect with a fellow Nabu wearer on Facebook or LinkedIn when they shake hands. The device can also help identify other users nearby with similar interests which could tie into friend finding or dating apps.
The Razer Nabu is an open development platform which existing apps can connect to and ultimately pass data on to their third party apps. Tan used RunKeeper as an example of an app that could be updated to work with the Razer Nabu which could then pass the data collected on to third party apps. The We Chat is launching a fitness component that will work with the Nabu and can help users create groups that help motivate users and spur competition.
The developer edition of the Razer Nabu is available shortly for $49. The official Razer Nabu release to consumers is set for the end of Q1 in multiple colors with a slightly higher price, but not one that is significantly greater. The band will also come in multiple sizes.