Razer is launching a smart band.
During CES 2014, Razer introduced its very first wearable tech, the Razer Nabu. This smart band, sporting the company's trademark green/black color scheme, is a smart band that provides two screens: a 32 x 32 OLED display for showing "public" notifications, and a 128 x 32 OLED display for showing "private" messages.
According to Razer, users wear the band with the smaller screen facing up and the larger screen facing the floor. For instance, if the wearer receives a call, the top display will show a phone icon, and the bottom screen will display the caller's name. If the caller decides to send a text message, the top icon will revert to the message icon and the bottom screen will scroll through the contents of the message at a user-defined speed.
That said, the public OLED screen notifies users of incoming calls, texts, emails and app updates via icons, and the private screen shows a bit more detail. The band is also capable of collecting data such as location information, bio data feedback (steps walked, distance traveled, stairs climbed, etc.), sleep data, band-to-band communication and much more.
Razer says the Nabu is an open platform, meaning software and hardware developers can use the SDK to update their existing applications to work with Razer's smart band, or develop third party apps from the ground up.
"Collected data, pre-configured capabilities, and gestures on the Razer Nabu can be harnessed for such third party apps not just for basic notifications but also for advanced functionalities such as band-to-band people discovery, contact exchange via handshake gestures, person-to-person association, person-to-location associations and much more," reads the spec sheet.
The Nabu smart band includes an accelerometer, an altimeter, and a cylindrical vibration motor to buzz the user when a message is received, and so on. The device uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect to any Android or iOS device, and a downloadable app allows the wearer to configure notifications, data and other settings.
On the hardware side of things, the device is rain and splashproof, and includes a Lithium-polymer battery; the microUSB port for charging can be found in the band's clasp. Razer promises up to seven days between charges.
We asked Razer if there are there 3rd party developers working on software for the Nabu. CEO and Chief Gamer Min-Liang Tan gave us the following answer:
The Razer Nabu already works out of the box with all the notifications from the iPhone and Android without any additional development. Nabu’s data can be leveraged by first party and third party developers for deeper integration into new apps and software such as contact info exchange with just a handshake gesture, or advanced emote notifications. We can disclose however that we are working closely with WeChat – one of the world’s largest online chat messengers with over 500M users. More information on the partnership will come later. We are also in talks with a few 3rd party developers, but announcements of major partnerships will come later.
The Razer Nabu smart band will become available in late Q1 2014.