The NEX Band is a modular wearable tech ‘charm bracelet’
Montreal based firm Mighty Cast has designed a new device which melds the two current hot trends of wearables and modularity. A modular wrist wearable might sound like a great concept but calling it a wearable tech charm bracelet could also put off the male/grownup demographic so Mighty Cast have described the device as a smartband, the ‘charms’ in turn are called ‘mods’.
A NEX Band consists of the wristband which has the capacity to host up to five customisable smart modules (mods). Mighty Cast have plans for mods that are functional and others that are merely decorative. However mods will be able to be developed by outsiders as the firm is releasing a development kit and API. Currently iOS and Android devices are supported and the NEX Band communicates with these other devices via Bluetooth Low Energy.
A modular smartband is only as useful as the modules it supports, so what does Mighty Cast offer right now? Well the firm says that this isn’t one of those health focussed devices we have seen from the likes of Nike, Adidas and others. The following functions are put forward, whether some of them come from multifunction modules is not specified:
- Coded messages
- Proximity alerts
Mashable reports that a patented ‘Base and Token’ technology connects the mods to a cloud platform where information is stored and exchanged in real-time. This helps the NEX Band become part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Like the Motorola Project Ara which is building a modular smartphone system Mighty Cast thinks that its tech is disruptive to the market status quo. “The NEX Band is set to disrupt the wearable space, giving power to the consumer to customize their user experience, not lock themselves into one application,” asserted CEO Adam Adelman. He foresees users collecting and swapping the charming modules that will be available to make a very individual smartband.
The NEX Band is expected to ship in Autumn and they are currently available for pre-order at $49.99 – half the market price following general availability. The band ships with a single mod that can handle all the functions listed above in the bulleted list. Additional mods should costs just $9.99 says Mighty Cast.