Razer's new smartband, Nabu, will come with WeChat integration

This week is turning into a notable one for wearable devices thanks to a couple of announcements out of Asia. First, Xiaomi announced plans for a device that will retail for just $13, a truly new low pricepoint for the genre, and now Razer is revealing that its upcoming new product will integrate messaging app WeChat. The Nabu smartband borrows some functionality from a smartwatch, alongside the standard fitness and health tracking capabilities that we expect. But integrating WeChat is a very interesting move, particularly in China where the service is ubiquitously used and is even becoming a platform for developers who seek to super-charge their apps.

In what looks to be a distinct head start in the smartwatch race, Razer today announced the Nabu would be the first smartband in the world to be fully integrated with Tencent’s messaging platform WeChat, which has over 400 million daily active users. Aside from being China’s largest online messenger, WeChat made sense as a partner to Razer because of its progressiveness in terms of bridging the platform to the real world wherever possible, according to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan. “They’re really pushing the limits, so when we started working with them, we were pretty excited,” said Tan. The Nabu smartband will be the first truly social wearable with the following functions: it will show all the notifications an iOS or android device would, all the metrics a fitness band would measure, and have Tinder-like capabilities that allow users to share information just by being within range or shaking hands. In other words, it will do everything a smartwatch and fitness band does, with social capabilities on an open platform. “Today we’ve got PC as a screen, the mobile as a screen, the living room screen, and the biggest challenge right now is: who’s going to own the screen on the wrist? This has been one of the most exciting avenues to really get a hold of the attention of the user,” said Tan.

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