Most wearable devices deliver app notifications to your wrist, but Razer’s Nabu takes the social element to a new level. The wristband is not only capable of displaying alerts for you texts, calls, and fitness goals, but it also communicates with other Nabu devices to exchange information.
For example, if you shake hands with another Nabu wearer, the device can automatically link you with that person on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The data Nabu collects will be available for third-party app developers, so you’ll be able to use your existing fitness and social apps with the wristband. Razer tells us that Nabu wearers have control over which information is shared, and can opt out of this functionality by hand-picking the type of info that is shared.
So, if you’d like the band to be compatible with Facebook but not LinkedIn, you’d be able to make that adjustment. This band-to-band communication can be used to find nearby friends in a given location based on predefined user settings, according to Razer.
Razer hasn’t announced how much it will cost when it launches in Q1 2014, but the company says its looking to price it competitively. The developer edition will cost just $49, which is roughly a third of what fitness bands like the Fitbit Force or Nike Fuelband cost.
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At first glance, the Nabu looks like most other fitness wristbands on the market. It differs in that Razer’s device comes with two displays, while others come with just one if any at all. The first 32x32-pixel OLED display is worn at the top of your wrist, and it’s small enough to show simple icons. Razer calls this the Public Display, and it’s meant to alert you that there’s an incoming notifications without broadcasting it to the people around you. This second screen, the 128x32 Private Messages screen,which is located on the underside of your wrist and can show message previews rather than just icons.
The model Razer showed us was just a prototype of what will come to market, but still looked impressively slim and sleek. Razer tells us that the final edition will be thinner and a little more polished than the version in our demo. The version we saw was all black, while the retail unit will ship with Razer’s signature neon green color on the inside of the bracelet.