Within the first 24 hours of open enrollment to develop for the Razer Nabu smartband more than 10,000 developers signed on to experiment with the new technology.
Developers are offered $49 Razer Nabu Development Kits which will be shipped within the next few weeks. Sign up for the program continues here.
The Razer Nabu is a smartband that Razer debuted at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show where the smartband garnered more than 50 percent of the popular vote to win Endgadgt’s CES “People’s Choice” award. Min Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO, and creative director remarked about the Nabu’s successful unveiling, “The overwhelming demand we’ve received from the development community to work on applications for the Nabu more than validates our decision to make wearables a long-term focus for our business.”
The smartband is new hardware for Razer as a fitness wearable. The open platform allows developers creative use of its functions that includes smartphone notifications, data collection, and communication with other Nabu smartbands. The Nabu’s bio data tracking ranges from distance travelled, stairs climbed, and steps walked as well as geographic location and sleep data but all data tracking is approved by the user. The social component of band to band interaction enables both active and passive communications such as exchanging contact information and multiplayer gameplay.
The Nabu’s availability for consumers is expected by the end of June 2014. The Nabu will support both iOS and Android.
The wearable technology with a focus on fitness is a new avenue for Razer who is known for gaming PCs and high end gaming peripherals. New technology is defined by its apps and the apps that the Nabu launches with will be heavily scrutinized for how well the apps utilizes its unique features.
For disabled gamers, the integration of smartphone and health based alerts into a wristband potentially allows for monitoring disability related needs on one device that is easily accessible on the user’s wrist. Potential applications include medication and appointment alerts as well as monitoring needed bio data while connecting disabled users with other Nabu owners. The availability of such alerts without putting down a gaming controller integrates disabled gamers with their smartphone notifications whether fine motor disabilities not required to physically handle additional hardware or deaf gamers no longer needing to keep smartphones in a lap in order to be alert to a vibration. For visual disabilities, it remains unknown if the Nabu includes audio signals, voiceover software integration, or font changes.
Additionally, the Nabu is touted to require charging once every seven days. Such a long charge is a benefit for disabled gamers who already are concerned with charging a multitude of disability related technology. Also, moisture is a major concern with most disability related equipment and the Nabu is advertised as sweat and splash proof.