Razer Nabu – Improving Something Useless?

Razer NabuI have recently stumbled upon an article on GameInformer about a new accessory by Razer. Yes, the company that defines itself as “For Gamers. By Gamers”. I like their accessories, I have two of their mousepads, a normal one and a portable one, which I find amazing, and I will probably get a Deathstalker keyboard soon after getting a new gaming PC. This time, though, it feels like they are drifting away from their usual style offering the Nabu.

The Nabu is basically yet another version of the smartwatch/wristband thing which is apparently getting some interest. It allows you to receive notifications from your phone and it also allows you to track your physical activities. Also, in my opinion it is the most stylish device of this kind that I have seen so far (it still looks horrible when somebody is wearing it, but it’s less horrible than the others).

Ok, let’s quickly go through the positive things of the Nabu: it’s two devices in one, which might make it appealing for people looking for both a smartwatch and an activity tracker, and it might not be extremely expensive in the (Razer are currently selling Nabus to developers for $49).

And now to my favourite part: the not so good things. This doesn’t look very game-related. I can see that it might be used in some interesting ways in the gaming world, but I must say that it mostly looks like a business item, and I would much prefer it if Razer continued to focus on gaming accessories. After all, that’s what they can do well.

Most importantly, this whole idea of smartwatches is uncanny for me: I can’t help feeling that it is just another thing that makes getting a break from work increasingly difficult. We already have smartphones which are definitely not making us smart and which make us take our jobs everywhere we go. Why would I want to have something that would make this situation even worse by being always on me, probably even more than a smartphone?

On the Nabu website, in the Notifications section, there is a sentence that gives me a wry smile:

From client meetings to a romantic candlelit dinner, there are moments when pulling out your smartphone is just not the right call. With just a quick glance at the Razer Nabu on your wrist, stay updated without being rude.

Now the question is: if I am in the middle of a client meeting or a romantic candlelit dinner, am I not supposed to focus on that? Do I really need to be distracted from other things? If I am in the middle of a dinner with my girlfriend and I keep looking at my notifications, wherever they might come from, I can easily see myself being single after a while. In that case yes, the Nabu and similar devices might come in handy, because I would have lots of free time to waste looking at notifications.

What are your thought on this? Do you think that devices like the Nabu will become what smartphones are today? Do you already have a smartwatch? Please share your opinions in the comments.


2 thoughts on “Razer Nabu – Improving Something Useless?

  1. I don’t personally have a smartwatch, but I’ve seen people with them.

    I am almost certain they will kick off in a big way. I, personally, will like staying old fashioned as I have a lovely watch which is there for tracking time. Nothing else, just time. Occasionally, I like to be disengaged from technology, as much as I do adore it. This is why I enjoy working on cosplay costumes, to pick up skills I wouldn’t normally have…

    I’m just one man – I’m sure for every one of me who wants to, occasionally, get away from technology (Even with an unfaltering love of it), there must be at least 100 who never want to be separated from the latest and greatest technology.

    I don’t, currently, think a smartwatch will replace a smartphone. We’ll see, though! The future is… Interesting, to say the least.

    • Thanks for the long comment! I agree with you, I also like to disengage from technology whenever possible: I don’t use push notifications, my phone is almost always in silent mode during the evening etc, so the idea of having something like a smartwatch is definitely not appealing to me.

      I do think that they might have a pretty good success though, people seem to like to be always on, so I think that more and more companies will focus on this kind of product in the future. Who knows, smartwatches might become something very interesting. I love technology and I love that it’s always evolving, I just feel that sometimes it’s too much, so to say.

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