updated 03:57 pm EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Fans can apply for a chance to test the device, purchase Nabu for one dollar
Razer is moving into its next phase of testing with the Nabu smartband, offering fans a chance to test the device before it goes on sale. The company posted on its website this week that it would be moving into a limited beta program starting in July. The test is setup to be extremely small in number, as well as the company being selective as to who it will allow to participate.
The beta is set to launch on July 10, with beta testers being required to jump through a few hoops to get first crack at the device. Razer says the beta is only open to people that fit a certain criteria. This includes the candidate being active on Razer's social media channels, already using Razer devices, and being comfortable with technology or "tech savvy." According to Razer, they will only be selecting the "most hardcore fans for this program."
Testers will be required to send a written report to submit feedback on the Nabu. Razer notes that if a report is failed to be delivered, the candidate would be excluded from any future beta programs. Only 500 people will be selected as participants in the program.
Nabu won't be free to beta testers, either. Razer is requiring testers to purchase the beta version of Nabu for $1. It's unclear if people involved in the beta will be required to return the bands. It appears Razer will only be shipping the Nabu to select RazerStores for those that are accepted.
Razer showed off the Nabu at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, surprising fans of the company as it looked outside of gaming. The band is positioned to be more than just a fitness band, also allowing social media connections, access to apps, and offers a list of notification options. Developers have already been able to purchase a Nabu for $50 as part of the company's development program. An SDK is currently available on Razer's website.
The company took to allergen testing in April, pushing back a potential release for the smartband. It is thought the company didn't want to be subjected to the allergic reaction problems that forced Fitbit to issue refunds over the Force band.