In the wonderland of CES this year has almost felt like every company needs to justify its presence with a fitness tracker or a smartwatch. Yesterday Razer, a brand more commonly associated with gaming peripherals than high tech jewellery, showed that even it was not immune to the calling.
The Razer Nabu is a fitness tracker style bracelet which will be familiar to those who have seen a Nike FuelBand, Fitbit Force and their ilk but it has additional functionality that Razer is hoping will ignite a developer community similar to the one that has formed around the darling of the smartwatch industry, the Pebble.
The Nabu has all of the sensors one would usually associate with a fitness tracker like an accelerometer and altimeter but then also has two LED displays and a vibration motor for notification alerts. The top screen, a small 32×32 pixel one, will show the notification icon while a second 128×32 pixel display on the bottom of the band activates when you rotate your wrist to show you the full notification.
The Nabu will be supported by an open development platform which will allow both first party and third party developers to create apps and Razer’s CEO Min-Liang Tanis hopes that devs will be excited by the prospect of “utilize(ing) data collected by the Nabu to deliver incredible experiences to individuals via mobile or desktop apps—social or otherwise.” The Nabu will be available in South Africa before the end of March at a yet to be determined price but developers can already pick up the SDK and order their own Nabu for $49 (R520).
It was only in the last two years that Razer has deviated from making gaming peripherals to making tablets and more recently gaming notebooks. The addition of a ‘wearables’ range to the product portfolio seems to be more of a ‘me too’ reaction to the direction that most of the big tech companies seem to be heading in, especially at CES this year. If the company can successfully build a developer and user base similar to the 300 000 strong army that Pebble has amassed, then the Nabu could be the one to look out for in the next two years.