There were plenty of new entrants into the wearables category during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, and one of the latest was from a company that’s best known for gaming accessories: Razer. The firm introduced its Razer Nabu smartband during the show, and we had a chance to check it out and to speak with one of the product managers about why Razer decided to enter the space.
The band itself is simple: it uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and can then provide alerts on incoming calls, emails, text messages, WhatsApp messages and more. On the top, there’s a small window that shows an icon for what sort of notification you received, and if you turn your wrist over there’s a larger screen that can provide a few lines of text, like who sent a text message and what it says. This is all bundled in with fitness features, too, so you can keep track of your footsteps, calories burned and more.
We asked Razer’s product manager why the company, which usually makes computers, laptops, keyboards, headphones and other gaming products, decided to enter the fitness/smartband space. We were told that the company wants to create an ecosystem of products for gamers that touches all parts of their lives, and that the band will also likely have gamification features. You might, for example, compete with other people who wear the Nabu smartband. Additionally, it has the ability to communicate with other Nabus. So, if you walk past someone, you might be able to see their profile and collect other data — sort of like the social features on the Nintendo 3DS.
Razer hasn’t revealed the final consumer price for the Nabu just yet, but developers can pick one up for $49. The smartband will hit store shelves later in Q1 but an official launch date has not yet been revealed. You can get a closer look at the Nabu in our gallery above.