This year at Gamescom, Razer, known for their popular and high quality gaming peripherals, were showing off some new kit, namely the Chroma range and their new smart wristband, the Nabu.
After much success with their Black Widow mechanical keyboard, first released in 2010, Razer have updated their tech to include it, and other devices in the Chroma range. With a spectrum possibility of 16.8 million colours to choose from, there’s no doubt even the most finicky of obsessive compulsive gamers will be able to pick one to suit their style. If a single colour isn’t your cup of tea however, there are of course, multiple modes to choose from. Whether it be a slow, breathing effect, a wave of colour, or the seminally addictive ‘spectrum cycling’, there are many ways to show off your new piece of kit.
The most interesting prospect however, is the release of their Chroma SDK to game developers. With it, developers can customise peripheral lighting effects that are dependant on the game state. Catching a flash grenade with your face could not only light up your screen, but could also elicit a white flash from all your Chroma enabled devices. Perhaps your base it getting stealthily attacked in an RTS, it could be possible for an individual character to flash red, alerting you. Despite the Black Widow keyboard being the obvious showcase for the mesmerising effects, the Chroma range also includes the popular Death Adder gaming mouse alongside their 7.1 surround sound Kraken headset. If you do happen to own more than one of these devices, it’s worth noting that your chosen effects can be synchronised across too.
Whilst other companies are progressing into the Smart Watch market; even the Smart Ring has found a place in development, Razer have pushed for a stylish wristband instead. Designated the ‘Nabu’it focuses on social surroundings on top of the usual plethora of notifications and features. In the hands of Beta testers and developers, the Nabu will discretely vibrate to alert you of notifications; turning your wrist will quickly display the screen, whereas a shake of the wrist will dismiss any active notifications. The companion app, Utility, will not only pair your devices, but also keep track of any fitness goals you might have, on top of managing all the connected apps.
Much like the Chroma set, the intrigue and excitement lies within the future prospects. Not only will Nabu detect other wearers in your social circles, but is also promoting the ideal of natural movements in order to interact with others. A high five between fellow wearers might transfer contact information between the two for example.
Whilst the pricing for Nabu is still up in the air, I was assured that it wouldn’t break the bank and would hopefully come in at less than 100 Euro’s. The hardware, technology and ideas in both the Nabu and the Chroma range are all proven, the only step now is to see how inventive the developers can be at utilising it; give it a few years and we could all be staging a country-wide, Nabu oriented zombie race!