The world of wearable tech often feels like a desert of novelties, kept irrigated by investment capital. That impression doesn't lessen when you hear about the Nex Band: conceived by the Montreal-based company Mighty Cast and announced today, it aims to be a high-end fashion accessory that also plans to be a "console on the wrist."
What does that mean, exactly? Based on Mighty Cast's pitch, the Bluetooth Nex band will work with a variety of add-on collectible Mod charms that pulse in their own patterns, based on individual information feeds. Some charms may involve gaming, and some may involve social media. Five Mod charms can be added at a time, and each one will be customizable. Mighty Cast's press release optimistically imagines these charms being swapped with other Nex users to "unlock new experiences."
The idea of a variety of individual indicators could be useful for key notifications -- new texts, a 10,000-step goal being met, or an eBay bid being accepted, perhaps -- but it's unclear what apps or features would be available from the get-go. Mighty Cast promises SDKs and APIs that will be provided to would-be Nex charm-makers, enabling a world of little modular add-ons with their own specific features, all of which could be controlled via a single Nex app, or separately through individual charm-related apps. The Nex band itself, from the image provided, looks a little like a bedazzled version of the Nike FuelBand.
The fact that the teaser Web site for preorders promises a way to "boost your brand and create new sources of revenue" could be considered cause for concern. But, if you want to take the optimistic approach, maybe Mighty Cast will find a way to crack the digital charm bracelet for the 21st century in a way that will make both boutiques and Hot Topic proud.