[CES2014]: Razer Announces Nabu Smartband

At CES Razer announced the Nabu smartband and its corresponding developer kit. The Nabu is a dual-screened smartband that looks pretty similar to a Nike+ Fuelband SE. Although the looks may be similar, the functions can be very different. Razer seeks to take control of the smartband world with a device that may end up being the best smart wearable device out there.

The Nabu seeks to be the ultimate smartband, pulling features from the best of the fitness and “quantified self” movement as well as the Pebble and the rest of the smartwatch space. The goal of the Nabu is to be the one-stop shop for smart [wrist-based] wearables and so far I think it will accomplish that goal.

Nabu Notifications

As I mentioned earlier the Nabu is a dual-screened device, a feature that really makes it standout. The upper display (the one where a watch face would normally reside) is where public notifications will go, i.e. non-specific information such as time or an icon denoting a more private notification, such as an email or text. Once the notification is received above, turning the wrist reveals the second display, which will show tha actual text of the email or other more private data. This is an amazing feature. After using the Pebble, I can say that I would love some more privacy. Having that large watch face display full text is both awesome, and worrisome… Why would I want people next to me to see whats happening on my watch?

developer-band

As far as data collection is concerned, Razer wants you to be able to gamify your life. This means that the Nabu will award points for things like check-ins, better sleep, or even just walking up some stairs. Razer will also be building in some location based events, such as coupon displays when near a shop, or GPS directions right in the Nabu. While most (if not all) of these features are just a starting point to get developers thinking, we have faith in Razer that adequate developers will jump on board and build Nabu support right into their apps.

As of right now there is no pricing or release date, A rep on the show floor said target release was late Q1, early Q2 of this year, so a springtime release would seem a safe bet. Razer has made a dev kit available and developers will have access to the Razer for $49 when it becomes available.