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ces 2014

Razer's Nabu Is A Cross Between Smartwatch And Activity Tracker

by Ben Reeves on Jan 08, 2014 at 11:47 AM

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You're in an important meeting or on a first date or in some other social situation where it would be rude to check your phone. Unfortunately, you keep getting texts. If only you had Razer's Nabu.

Razer's Nabu is a smartband that pairs with your iPhone or Android device then acts like a smartwatch combined with an activity tracker that measures how you live, sleep, and interact with others. The system has two screens. The one on the top spits out a series of icons to notify you when you get a call, text, or tweet. If you feel the band vibrate to tell you that you're getting a call, you can flip your wrist over and get more details about the call on the band's more detailed secondary screen. You can also read a whole text message or tweet on this screen. When you're done, simply shake your wrist to dismiss the notification. 

The Nabu's secondary feature set is even more interesting as it will use internal altimeters and GPS to track your personal data. Not only will the Nabu give you fitness feedback, letting you know how many steps you've taken or how many calories you've burned, but it will also chart your sleep habits, movements through a city, and even notify you when you are close to other Nabu users, kind of like Nintendo's street pass system.

“Smart watches in their current form are too bulky and fitness trackers are easily forgotten after the initial novelty wears off; we have fixed all of that,” says Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “The Razer Nabu provides a revolutionary new platform that bridges the divide between so-called smart watches and fitness bands. It delivers only the information you need, collects data that you want, and deepens your social interactions.”

We got a hands on demo of the device at CES, and it's simple design is elegant. Razer is leaving the device open for developers to design apps around it, meaning it could tie into your various social networks. The company envisions that people could set their device to notify them if they come close to other people who share their same interests and even share contact information with the shake of a hand or a high five.
The Nabu's battery will reportedly last for up to seven days between charges. Razer just started shipping development units to designers for $49, so hopefully that means it will be ready to announce a commercial unit shortly. We'll keep you posted about this exciting piece of technology once we've had some time to live with the device for a few days.