Razer, a company better known for gaming devices and peripherals, is looking to get into a whole new game entirely: wearables. At CES on Monday, the company introduced the Nabu smart band, a cross between a smart watch and an activity tracker.
The first thing that separates the Nabu from the competition is that is uses two screens. There’s a tiny 32 x 32 pixel notification display on one side of the device, and a 128 x 32 pixel message screen on the other. These screens can give you information about your daily activity levels, or provide readouts of texts and social networking messages. It’s also very thin, which is a nice change from the many bulky options out there. The band connects to either your iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0, and Razer is estimating 7 – 10 days worth of battery life.
Like many other activity trackers, the Nabu houses an accelerometer, altimeter and a cylindrical vibration motor. These will allow the band to track data like steps taken and stairs climbed. What’s more interesting is that, by using the accelerometer, the Nabu can be programmed to perform a number of social functions, like sending a friend request to another Nabu wearer upon shaking hands.
And ultimately, that’s what differentiates the Nabu from the rest of the activity trackers out there. Razer has built the band on an open development platform, and hopes to attract developers to build apps for the band, sort of like a smartwatch. Razer is releasing a developer edition of the Nabu by the end of Q1 for just $50. There’s no price or release date for a consumer model, but Razer says it should cost less than $100. For a band that promises to do double duty, that sounds like a good deal to me.