In addition to the massive, ambitious Project Christine modular gaming PC concept, Razer had another new product to reveal at this year's CES and it's not what you might expect. Alongside dozens of other products in a category known as "wearables" is Razer's offering: a still-in-development wristband called Nabu, an unusual match for a company better known for gaming PCs and peripherals.
The Nabu is a sort of hybrid between a smart watch, delivering smart phone-paired notifications, and a fitness band like the Nike+ FuelBand or the FitBit Flex, tracking the usual data points like pedometer and sleep data. Dual LED displays split the device's notifications into public and private, on the outside and inside of your wrist respectively. Thanks to the Nabu's use of Bluetooth low energy, Razer says the device will hold a charge for "seven to ten days."
The most unique feature of the Nabu is its focus on third-party applications. "Developers can apply for the SDK on our website, and they get the product as well for a special developer price," Marco Chillon, general manager Europe at Razer, said. That price is $49, while the target retail price when the Nabu is available is $99.
Razer is hoping that third-party developers can create additional value using the data collected by the Nabu, extending the utility of the device in ways that Razer itself possibly hasn't even considered.
"The Razer Nabu provides a revolutionary new platform that bridges the divide between so-called smart watches and fitness bands," Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said in a press release. "Most excitingly, with our open platform, developers can utilize data collected by the Nabu to deliver incredible experiences to individuals via mobile or desktop apps — social or otherwise."
Asked for a gaming example, Chillon offered, "Motion sensing abilities could be implemented, with support in games like golf where you don't need to have anything in your hands, you can just do the motion and it just replicates the motion of your hand."
The Nabu is built to work with both the iOS and Android platforms, and will include an app that pairs the device to your platform of choice while also allowing you to adjust your privacy setting. But strangely, the PC platform that currently defines Razer is absent. When asked if adding in the missing PC support was aspirational, Chillon said, "Yes."
"This is a prototype but we're in super final stages to have it market ready," Chillon said. "We hope to have it ready by the end of Q1."