In the 2014 Best of CES awards by Engadget, Project Christine won “Best PC” and Razer Nabu was awarded “People’s Choice.” Additionally, the Razer Nabu was a finalist in the Best Digital Health category.
Min-Lian Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO, and creative director commented on the awards, “Razer is not just a gaming company – we are a company that designs products for gamers. Our continued success at CES really speaks to the gaming lifestyle as a global phenomenon.”
Project Christine is a modular PC designed for bringing PC customization and upgrading to all PC users. Based on the modular design, users without previous technical knowledge can customize their PC without technical assistance and worries of incompatibility. The modules are self-contained and slot-in which allows for cable-less technology and easy swapping for a PC configuration that meets the user’s needs, such as running multiple operating systems, rather than having unused features in a preset system. Additionally, the system includes a touch-screen LED display for control and maintenance information.
Mr. Tan remarked, “Project Christine is a new concept design that will revolutionize the way users view the traditional PC. This is the first gaming system that is able to keep pace with technology and could allow consumers to never buy another PC, or gaming system, again.”
The Razer Nabu is wearable technology, a “smartband,” that notifies the user of smartphone notifications and monitors desired personal information. As an open platform design, first and third party apps are easily created allowing users to tailor their experiences, for example, by opting-in to their desired data tracking, such as geographical, physical, and personal data. The Nabu will be available late in 2014’s first quarter.
The Razer Nabu touts three main functions:
One, two notification screens. A Public Icon Screen which is located on the top of the wrist sends alerts via icons for calls, texts, emails, and app updates. The Private Message Screen is located on the inside of the wrist where more detail is provided regarding the alert. Users can choose whether or not to pursue more information of the alert and a shake of the wrist removes the notifications.
Two, advanced data tracking sensors allows the user to opt into preferred data tracking, ranging from location data to bio data (even sleep data) for daily activity monitoring. An included utility app sets permissions for sharable data.
Three, the band to band communications allows nearby interactions based on the user’s settings. Shared data includes active and passive communication and occurs via social interactions such as with a handshake.
Mr. Tan espoused the customization of the Razer Nabu’s data collection and sharing as its differentiation from similar products stating, ““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.”
The Razer Nabu’s utility app will be available for both iOS and Android devices allowing for adjusting settings for alternative devices.
Project Christine makes PC customization accessible to disabled gamers who, due to their disability, are prevented from PC building without the assistance of the able bodied (e.g., disabled gamers with fine motor disabilities who cannot physically inset and remove PC components). Questions remain such as the cost of the system and its modules, as well as what modules will be available. But the premise of a modular PC provides an accessible option for disabled gamers not only to build their customized gaming PC but to create a PC that specifically meets their disability related needs.
Disabled gamers are experts in wearable technology. Convincing us to attach new technology to our bodies requires a high threshold of both form and function. The Razer Nabu provides a wearable technology option for smartphone notifications but also provides a variety of features and potential apps that benefit disabled gamers’ disability related needs. For example, as a deaf gamer my smartphone’s vibrations are insufficient to notify me of the alert unless the smartphone is on my person, for example, in my hand or on my lap – both of which are uncomfortable while gaming. The smartband vibrating on my wrist guarantees that I am aware of the alert in real time.