With wearables being so closely linked with fashion, we shouldn’t be surprised that a product like NEX has come along. It’s a wrist-bound wearble that functions like a smart-charm bracelet, letting you add function and fashion to it as you go, with a modular design that features different charm “mods,” which can give you not only a unique look, but also unique features too.
The NEX bracelet, made by MightyCast, comes as standard with a basic, black wrist band, but you can customise it with a series of “mods,” that snap on like bracelet charms. They can be heavily customised by third parties, but current iterations offer things like social networking interaction, the ability to send secret messages to other users, or giving indication that someone is calling you.
The NEX can handle up to five different mods at once and MigthyCast is hoping that people will collect different ones as the device improves or as trends change. There’s also the possibility of people trading charms to try out new feature and even the potential for limited edition ones which could be seen as a bit of a status symbol.
However, privacy pundits may not be too pleased with MightyCasty’s talk about how once you trade a mod, “it’s never really gone,” as you can continue to track it wherever it goes, anywhere in the world. Presumably the idea here is for mods to be traded several times and for your once local piece of hardware to end up somewhere else entirely, but there are no doubt privacy concerns to be had after an immediate trade.
But trading may be something people – especially the young – get right on board with, as MightyCast is looking to make it almost Pokemon like. When you trade a mod, it will level up, and gain new features and abilities. This is where MightyCast is hoping to link up with mobile game makers, to offer unique content like levels, weapons and skins for those wearing the NEX bracelet with specific mods installed. Players could quite literally gear up before a big boss battle.
There’s also the potential there for partnerships with all sorts of companies and individuals. Imagine having a mod for your favourite musician, giving you access to new content before anyone else? Or shops having their own mod, which when you enter a store wearing the NEX, gives you a discount on whatever you buy. It’s fashion combined with a loyalty card. Retailers around the world will jump on that if they get the chance.
The basic hardware isn’t even that expensive, practically guaranteeing this will be a successful product when it launches in Autumn this year. It was possible to pre-order it for $49 until recently, but that has now closed. Look out later this year for more information.