Razer Nabu Smartband Review

Introduction


Smart wearables are nothing new, but it’s certainly still a growing market. With that in mind, it makes sense that gaming brands such as Razer would want to get in on the action, they already make a wide range of peripherals, and while I’m sure they would love us all to sit at our desks using Razer hardware, gamers need to get exercise too. Being able to track your fitness is no bad thing, especially if you’re trying to get in shape, but the Razer Nabu offers a little more than your average connected sportswear.

“Stay on top of everything when the Nabu notifies you of incoming calls, texts, emails, and other app alerts discreetly via the private message screen and a gentle vibration.” – Said Razer.

All the basics of a fitness band are available here, as the Nabu will use its accelerometer and built-in algorithms to give you real-time feedback on the band, as well as in the dedicated mobile app. You can track your steps walked, distance travelled, calories burnt, hours slept, active minutes and personal goals. The sleep tracker is a cool feature, as it’ll measure the actual duration you slept once you’ve finally stopped fidgeting, the sleep quality, again no doubt tracking the amount of times you turn in your sleep, as well as offering you a silent alarm via its vibration function; handy if you want to get up for your morning coffee without waking the kids.

Check out this cool product video from Razer, although amazingly it’s NSFW and features quite a lot of graphic violence… cool! Zombie dismembering aside, it does a great job of demonstrating many of the features of the Nabu.

Display and Sensor

  • OLED 128×16 single color
  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • Cylindrical vibration motor

Hardware

  • Single button for OLED screen access and other specific functions
  • Lithium-polymer battery with up to 6 days battery life
  • Rain, sweat, and splash proof. Not suitable for showering and submerging.
  • Charging via proprietary USB cable.
  • Wireless syncing with mobile devices via Bluetooth LE.

Tested devices

  • iPhone 5/5S/6/6 Plus with iOS 8 (or higher)
  • Android 4.3 (or higher) device with Bluetooth Lower Energy (BT 4.0 or higher).
  • Click here for a list of tested Android devices.

There are even more cool features too, such as shaking hands with another Nabu owner and you can exchange social media information and more! With support from a wide range of popular applications, you can ensure you get all the information you need, right when you need it, all right on the built-in OLED display on the top of the wristband.

As with any other Razer product, the NABU is very nicely packaged, with a clear image of the product on the front and, of course, those more than familiar Razer colours.

Around the back of the box, a quick technical rundown, as well as a plastic panel that acts as a size guide for the wristband; very handy!

Open the box and you’ll find, ta da! Another box.

This one is more like a presentation box, and you’ll find a nicely secured NABU wristband on the interior, as well as a small pull-out drawer at the base for the accessories.

There’s a small USB charging cable, which naturally comes with the Razer Green header, a small link attachment for the wristband to adjust the size, and the usual documentation.

Latest Polar Smart Watches @ CES 2016

Smart watches are everywhere these days, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t got room for even more. While many smart watches are tailored to the consumer, the new series from Polar are targeted at professional athletes. The V800 is packed full of features, ideal for the triathlete, or multisport athelets, as it’ll help monitor running, cycling, swimming and much more.

The M400 still packs a lot of high-end features, but is more tailored to urban and trail runners, afterall, if you don’t do triathalons, the V800 is likely overkill for your needs.

The bike computers are pretty slick too, featuring clear displays, GPU, performance tracking, great battery life and more.

There’s no doubt that these will be popular units, as they’re stylish, light weight, feature heart rate monitors, profiles, free app and web services, have clear displays and are designed to withstand the elements in their respective catagories. We’ve no details on the prices, but given their focused nature, they’re not going to be cheap. They may however be essential to the pros.

FitBit Has A Surprising And High Profile New Fan

FItBit’s range of smart fitness products has catapulted the company onto bigger and better avenues over the last year or so, the new breed of small, light yet powerful wearable pieces of tech has captured the imagination. It now looks as if the company has another fan that is rather more powerful than your average consumer.

That consumer in question is 44th US president and a fan of tech Mr Barrack Obama who was seen sporting what looks to be a FitBit Surge while being interviewed by comic legend Jerry Seinfeld. Below is a snap that was taken of Mr Obama wearing the device, it seems the president has been looking forward to test driving the watch since last year. There has also been a humorous take concerning Mr Obama’s preference for FitBit considering both Apple and Samsung smart watches have a recording function built-in which might be slightly dodgy for the president.

According to research that was conducted by IDC, FitBit is the world’s highest selling wearable device and leads Apple. It conveys the paradox that many government officials find themselves in, on one hand they attempt to clamp down and pursue tech companies over surveillance and various laws, yet they also use the gadgets that have been created by that industry.

Image courtesy of kaiserkiwi

A Runner Celebrates Star Wars With Running Maps

The new Star Wars movie has become the fastest movie to pass the $1 billion mark in global box office sales which marks just how popular the franchise is and how many fans it has around the world. A lot of those fans have been celebrating the new movie in all sort of ways from baking their favourite character to cosplay and theme nights as well as much more. One fan who also happens to be a vivid runner chose to celebrate the new Star Wars movie by running maps that in return would show various Star Wars motives such as the Storm Trooper, Darth Vader, or a Walker.

Gene Lu from Portland, US used his fitness tracking app to record the routes he took before posting the results on social media where it gathered quite a bit of feedback. Darth Vader and the Walker are probably the easiest to recognize, but the Storm Trooper isn’t bad either.

Creating images with running apps and the streets at your disposal isn’t anything new and last year we even saw someone propose to their loved one by writing “Will you marry me” on the virtual streets with their fitness tracking app. Users who want to experiment with this phenomenon and post their own creations online should keep what start and stop locations they pick and what times they post it online in mind. You wouldn’t want to tell the burglar when you are out and even tell him where on the route you are located.

Are you one of the millions that already saw the new Star Wars movie and if so, did you celebrate this new entry into the popular franchise in any particular way? Let us know in the comments and photos are naturally also more than welcome if you dressed up as your favourite Star Wars character.

Xiaomi Announces $16 Heart Rate Monitoring Fitness Watch

The fitness market is booming as people try to lose weight through calorie controlled diets, and rigorous exercise. Technological advancements have allowed consumers to better understand their eating habits and even track sleep deprivation through fitness monitors. One popular example is the Fitbit Flex, which acts a pedometer and whole host of other features to put you on the right track when trying to lose body fat.

At $99, it can seem like an expensive proposition, but this is the norm for any innovative fitness equipment. However, Xiaomi has devised an incredibly cheap, heart rate monitor for a mere $16.  According to Xiaomi’s forum, the device will feature a 45mAh battery and strong strap material to prevent the watch from breaking during intense workouts.

The fitness band, entitled, Mi Band Pulse is set to become extraordinarily popular in the Chinese market and could be a great choice for people trying to lose weight on a budget. I doubt it’s going to match the seamless user-experience of the Fitbit, but this is expected given the low price point.

Fitness trackers, are replacing traditional watches for many consumers, as mobile phones become the standard to view the time. Personally, I prefer to wear a mechanical watch, but devices like the Mi Band Pulse have widespread appeal and provides information to help us all live a better lifestyle.

Do you use a fitness band?

Microsoft Could Send Notifications Through Electric Impulses in Clothes

Microsoft has publicly revealed an intriguing patent originally filled in 2014, entitled, Wearable Computer Having A Skin-Stimulating Interface. In a rather space-age fashion, the patent allows Microsoft to relay notifications through small sensory shocks. In theory, this could be also be used to stimulate a person’s senses after a prolonged period of inactivity. Therefore, it’s possible the technology is rooted in the fitness market. According to the patent:

“The electrical stimuli may inform the user of an event, a condition, etc. Examples of an event include but are not limited to receipt of a message (e.g. an email, an instant message (IM), a short message service (SMS) message, or a transcribed voicemail), receipt of an alarm (e.g. an alarm clock alarm or a warning), receipt of a phone call, occurrence of a time of day, etc.”

“The electrical stimuli may inform the user of a condition of clothing that is worn by the user. The electrical stimuli may inform the user that a physical positioning of the user is to be changed.”

It seems there is the possibility for tactile notifications using sensors embedded into specialized clothing. Although, I’m quite dubious how long it would take for such a catastrophic change to become widely accepted. Nevertheless, in 20-30 years time, it’s unthinkable how advanced technology will become and the degree to which our lives will change forever.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information.

Apple Watch Predicted to Account for 40% of Luxury Market by 2020

BI Intelligence has published a report on the popularity of wearable technology and predicts the Apple Watch will account for 40% of luxury timepieces by 2020. To clarify, the term “luxury” refers to any watch priced $350 or above which includes fairly mass-produced pieces such as the Apple Sport Watch. This could explain why the predicted figures are so high. According to the report:

“Assuming a lower-bound price of $350 for the luxury-watch category, and including Apple Watch in that category, traditional wristwatches would account for ~60% of total shipments in 2020, while Apple Watch would account for ~40%.”

The Apple Watch is an extremely polarizing device with a rather hefty price tag. Honestly, I’m astounded to see consumers opt for an Apple Watch instead of a hand-made Swiss or Japanese timepiece. Mechanical watches are a timeless and dependable piece of machinery and cannot become obsolete due to software. Additionally, the Apple Watch requires daily charging which makes it quite inconvenient. Nevertheless, wearable technology is on the rise, especially in the fashion or fitness sector. I’m still quite skeptical about these claims though as some watches can cost $50,000 which makes the $350 baseline seem quite unrealistic.

I’m intrigued to hear how many people actually use a watch as consumers often rely on their mobile phone to glance at the time.

Thank you 9to5Mac for providing us with this information.

First Details Emerge About Nintendo’s “Quality of Life” Device

There has been a great deal of contrasting theories regarding Nintendo’s “Quality of Life” device and its possible relation to the Codename NX project. Recently, a NeoGAF user stumbled upon Nintendo’s WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/107747 which includes schematics about the Quality of Life programme. Unfortunately, the text is in Japanese, so it’s difficult to deduce the technical information within the patent application. However, the diagrams provide a general synopsis of the device’s functionality.

In its most basic form, the Quality of Life device appears to fixate on fitness and trying to improve the user’s overall health. The dock contains sensors to relay information between a number of accessories including a Wii Balance board. Supposedly, the docking station can detect the user’s emotional state through an integrated microphone or webcam. I would also presume that the unit detects movement and begins operating as you enter a room.

The second image suggests the inclusion of a projector designed to gauge an individual’s tiredness. For example, a sensor is used to determine the user’s pulse rate and engagement in mental activities. This projector displays an image onto the ceiling and can be adjusted using a remote control. It’s still unknown what type of image will be displayed but perhaps it’s designed to help people with disturbed sleep patterns. However, it might be a way to save power during a form of entertainment and realize when the end user is asleep.

 

Finally, a terminal system collates information about each person’s health and sets targets to improve their well-being. Perhaps, the device measures your fat %, weight, heart rate, and other vital aspects. That would make sense given the image appears to show the Wii Fit board being an integral part of the experience.

Whatever the Quality of Life device entails, it’s a major change from Nintendo’s gaming focused market. Perhaps, Satoru Iwata’s poor health and eventual demise made his team reconsider their priorities and try to help extend people’s lives. Traditional fitness is quite boring and engaging people in a new, visual manner to improve their lifestyle could make such a profound difference.

Thank you Nintendo Life for providing us with this information.

MOOV NOW Wearable Could Prove to Be More Than Just Another Fitness Gadget

The market is currently flooded with wearables, all with different features, sizes and things to try to improve your workout. MOOV is one of them and unlike most wearables, it does more than track your position and steps.

The first MOOV is said to have a feature that tracked your body movement, something that you don’t see in most gadgets nowadays. But although it can be strapped to your ankle, wrist and arm, it is the size of a watch and could prove to be uncomfortable at times.

The latest MOOV NOW is not only significantly smaller, but also has a battery pack that lasts six months. Also, compared to other fitness apps, it packs an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, helping in giving you a 3D tracking experience rather than a location and speed-based reading. This means that it can know if you are pushing yourself over your limit or not putting enough effort into it.

However, the wearable can prove to be more than just a fitness gadget. Its 3D tracking capability acts sort of like Microsoft’s Kinect and therefore can have a lot of potential in virtual environment movement tracking. In addition to the latter, the movement tracking capacity that it bears can also be associated with what Leap Motion technology wants to achieve. So, we can be looking at a wearable with multipurpose use and a huge battery life here.

The MOOV NOW is said to be up for grabs at a pre-order deal of $60, but if you want to get it at that price, you’ll have to hurry. The retail price is said to go up to $100 once it gets released this fall.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Microsoft’s Band Gadget Finally Lands on the UK Market

Having a desk job is extremely stressing and messes with your body, this is why doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes workout per day. This helps relieve stress and keep you in shape both physically and mentally. But why not track your activity and health with the latest fitness and health bands on the market?

If you are living in the UK and wanted the Microsoft Band, the company appears to have started to offer it for a price tag of £169.99. The band seems to help keep track of activities such as heart rate, sun exposure, stress levels, calories burned and quality of sleep.

The Band connects to any iOS, Android or Windows Phone device via its companion app and offers customizable workouts. Whether you want to burn a lot of calories or just want to have a balanced diet, the Band and its app are available to help you with that.

Also, Microsoft’s gadget can be controlled with commands sent to Cortana, the company’s personal assistant and Siri’s rival. Is this why Cortana aims to arrive on the iOS and Android markets in the near future? Will Microsoft’s personal assistant squeeze its way into other mobile operating systems and offer integrated support in other applications too? We don’t have the answer for the latter questions, but time is bound to reveal the answer to that.

As far as the Band is concerned, you can order one from retailers such as Amazon, Harrods, Currys, O2 or even Microsoft’s Store itself. How do you find Microsoft’s health and fitness gadget? Are you planning on acquiring one yourself?

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information

Video courtesy of TheNextWeb and image courtesy of Digital Trends

Jawbone UP3 to Finally Ship Beginning April 20th

Jawbone announced today on its blog that the UP3 would finally start to ship out starting April 20th to those who had pre-ordered. In case you were unaware, the UP3 was supposed to be ready for Christmas 2014 but ran into manufacturing problems.

The new fitness and activity tracker was announced last year for Christmas 2014 availability. As production started to ramp up it became evident that there were problems with the manufacturing as the samples were having issues with water resistance. Now that the production issues have been fixed they are currently in mass production. With the pre-orders starting to ship on April 20th we can look forward to seeing these in stores shortly after that.

Fitbit Walks Off Apple’s Online Stores

Fitbit’s fitness tracking device has been removed from Apple’s retail website, though is still currently available in Apple stores for the time being. This follows the removal of Fitbit’s Apps for Health from the App Store back in October.

The reasons for the move are thus far unclear, but speculation suggests it could be due to the device’s incompatibility with Apple’s HealthKit developers tool. A statement from Fitbit suggests the feud is set to continue, as they affirmed that, “We do not currently have plans to integrate with HealthKit… It is an interesting new platform and we will watch as it matures, looking for opportunities to improve the Fitbit experience. At the moment, we’re working on other exciting projects that we think will be valuable to users.”

Fitibit have, however, suggested that their position may change if there is enough demand from Apple customers.

Source: CNET

 

Apple Unveil Their New Smart Watch

Apple’s live event is over and we’ve been presented with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and they look great. The live event-stream had some trouble with blackouts and the wrong audio, but the viewers hung in to see the next big thing, and I think this is what most people were waiting to see. The excitement is over and it’s here.

The new Apple Watch is a reality and not only does it looks gorgeous, it’s also highly customizable, to fit your own personal style. It doesn’t matter if you prefer your Apple Watch in 24-carat gold or in a simple aluminium case with a black leather strap. Apple has it all covered with custom alloys and thoughtfully designed bands.

“Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created”, said Tim Cook during the presentation. “A comprehensive health and fitness companion and it’s an extremely precise and customizable timepiece.”

Once again Tim Cook takes the audience on a trip down the memory lane to some of Apple’s previous inventions. First it’s the computer mouse, then it’s the clock wheel on the iPod and finally the iPhone with its multi-touch. The new invention on the Apple Watch is the Digital Crown. A versatile utility that answers the fundamental challenge of how to magnify content on a small display. The digital crown can scroll, zoom and navigate the Apple Watch without covering the display.

The screen has a flexible Retina display, curved around the edges and laminated to a single crystal of sapphire. Sapphire is the hardest transparent material known after diamond. There are a range of watch faces to chose from and millions of ways to personalize them, to fit your specific needs and preferences.

On the inside of the watch, it has infra-red and visible-light LEDs along with photo-sensors to detect your pulse rate and physical condition. Working with other technologies in Apple Watch, these help provide a comprehensive picture of your daily activity.

The home screen looks very familiar, yet slightly different. It’s of course optimized for the small display and navigational options. A press on the Digital crown and it’s launched. The Apple Watch also allows you to receive and send messages in new ways, directly from your wrist. Pre-set phrases, smart responses based on your conversation, audio messages, your location and even interactive emoticons. Apple Watch of course also features Siri; the voice based assistant.

There are a lot of useful apps that have been ported to the new format; Maps for example. It can show your current location in case you should get lost, give you turn-by-turn directions and tell you how long it will take you to get to your destination. It doesn’t just show and tell you where to go, it also gives you a tap if you need to change direction.

For the quick and personal message to the one you care about, the Apple Watch comes with some funny alternatives to just a text. It allows you to draw a fish or a flower, or what ever you’d like, with your finger and send it to someone. If it has to be really personal, you can even send your own heartbeat by just pressing and holding two fingers onto the screen.

Another big aspect of the Apple Watch is fitness and as such the watch comes with two apps that give you a complete picture of your health and fitness. The activity app monitors movement throughout the day and the workout app tracks dedicated workouts. An everyday, all-day fitness tracker and highly advanced sports watch designed in cooperation with some of the leading experts within the field.

The Apple Watch has built in accelerometers and a lot of other sensors, but still rely on your iPhone for WiFi and GPS to track your distance.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7EHkwBybqI[/youtube]

Thank you Apple for providing us with this information

Images and video courtesy of Apple

Treadmill Washing Machine Cleans Clothes as You Run

If you enjoy running but find yourself too busy doing household tasks, this might be the gadget for you.

This is “The Wheel” and will help to keep you fit whilst also doing the laundry. The concept is very simple, you put your dirty washing into the wash tubs with some soap and start running. Whilst your running inside the large hamster wheel, you will be creating kinetic energy, the wheel then converts this energy into electricity which powers the washers. The washers use “Eco Washing Balls” which are designed to improve cleaning efficiency whilst also cutting down on waste water and time.

The wheel has a flexible display on the inside of it, it has not been made clear as to what can be displayed on this screen but it would be fair to assume that it would have all the running information like distance, time and calories burned as well as having the potential to display your favorite show, film or running environments like woods, sandy beaches or mountains. The possibilities could make running far more interesting than a standard treadmill. If you want to run, but don’t have any washing to do, then the wheel can store energy until you do want to do the washing.

The creator of this wheel, Si Hyeong Ryu, has designed this as an entry to the 2014 Electolux Design Lab competition. This competition encourages design students to try and improve our health and lifestyles by inventing greener technology. Although this project hasn’t made it into the semi-finals, it is hoped that a prototype will still be made. There is no doubt that this is essentially a large hamster wheel, but the concept to get us fit as well as perform a mundane task could make this an excellent addition to your home gym, as long as you have enough space.

Thanks to Reviewed for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Reviewed.

People Who Watch Too Much TV Are Twice As Likely To Die Early

I think just about everyone knows by now that watching TV for extended periods of time is not good for you. That is from a mental perspective, because a lot of things on TV are hardly stimulating for your brain, and from a physical perspective, because sitting still for hours on end is bad for your body. However, some research from the American Heart Association suggests it could be a lot worse than we think. The evidence indicates that people who watch TV for more than three hours on a daily basis put themselves at risk: they are statistically twice as likely to die an early death than those who do not watch more than three hours on a daily basis. The strong claims made by the American Heart Association are based on data collected from monitoring 13284 individuals whose average age was over 37 throughout an 8.2 year time period. In that period 97 deaths occurred of which the most were racked up among the said group of lazy TV watchers.

Of course there is a case of caution to be noted here: excessive TV watchers could just be symptomatic of lazy and unhealthy people that are likely to die early. TV watching does not have to be the actual cause of those deaths. However, the underlying point is that sedentary lifestyles are not healthy.

“Our findings suggest adults may consider increasing their physical activity, avoid long sedentary periods, and reduce television watching to no longer than one to two hours each day.” States the research.

The recommendation is that all adults should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week to avoid the health problems of sedentary lifestyles.

On a side note I think this news is of relevance to a lot of our readers too. TV watching isn’t too different from PC gaming, of course PC gaming is more engaging than TV watching at a mental level but generally speaking it still involves sitting still in front of a screen. How much time do you spend sedentary in front of a screen each day?

Source: American Heart Association, Via: Softpedia

Image courtesy of blogs.plos.org

Wireless Calling With The Help Of An Earpiece Discovered In The Upcoming TalkBand B1

There is a lot of competition going around in the wearable devices market, having manufacturers keeping it a secret, with a few leaks every now and then. However, just as HTC, Huawei isn’t keeping it a secret.

Therefore, its ‘unexpected’ reveal of the TalkBand B1 shown us exactly what it has revealed about the smartband in the past, having a 1.4-inch flexible OLED display. Though we learn of a new feature added to the TalkBand B1, and that is its support for wireless calling, having a removable earpiece hidden inside it.

The earpiece now explains why the 14.6 mm thick bulk is for, it is designed to be the hidden compartment for the feature and not just a bump in the smartband. Aside from that, it also presents the usual fitness tracking features, such as caloric burning analysis.

There is also a sleeping pattern monitor, having it be a smart alarm to wake up the user at an optimal time. Besides that, it also has NFC for easier pairing with phones and a 90 mAh battery which is said to last six days (having a two hour long charging process).

No pricing has been revealed for the TalkBand B1 just yet, though it is said to be released in China next month, followed by the rest of the world in Q2.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

Apple Rumors Reveal That iOS 8 and iWatch Combo Could Be Fitness Oriented

A report from 9to5Mac reveals that Apple muught be working on a built-in application called “Healthbook” for iOS 8. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, Healthbook will take visual cues from the existing Passbook application, and it will be capable of monitoring and tracking “blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and … glucose levels” among other things.

It is said that the application will be able to track weight loss and remind users when they need to take their prescriptions. The “iWatch” would supposedly contain the various sensors needed to collect and track much of this information, suggesting that Apple’s purported smartwatch would communicate with iPhones via Bluetooth or another wireless technology much as current smartwatches tether to existing iOS and Android devices. Assuming Apple sticks to its normal release schedule, iOS 8 should be available in late summer or early fall.

If the reports turn out to be true, the iWatch could be a strong competitor to dedicated fitness gadgets like Fitbit’s Flex, Jawbone Up, and the Nike’s Fuelband, which feature more limited fitness tracking and phone synchronization capabilities. Apple already has some experience with sensors and tracking—the most recent iPhones and iPads all include Apple’s M7, a dedicated low-power chip that can collect data from the devices’ various sensors without waking up the main SoC.

In a smaller, power-constrained device like a wristband or watch, the ability to collect and send this data without using the main processor will be very important, especially if the iWatch is also a general-purpose smartwatch like the Pebble Steel and not just a dedicated fitness gadget.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Arstechnica