NEX Band: the modular wearable bringing charm bracelets into the 21st century

You can customise this bracelet by adding and removing up to five smart “charm” modules

We’ve seen the wearable technology space explode in recent years with the rise of Google Glass and smartwatches, but smart jewellery is still a rarity. The NEX Band aims to change that.

Designed by Montreal firm Mighty Cast, the NEX is a bracelet with five spaces for customisable smart modules. One module might be set to provide light-up notifications from social networks (colour coded, so Facebook’s notifications would be blue and Snapchat’s would be yellow), while another could be set to  activate a special ability in a game you’re playing on your phone. Another might work as a fitness tracker. There are even plans for modules that are merely decorative.

The idea is that mods can be changed round and customised as required: you might not need the activity tracker one day, so you could pop in a decorative mod instead.

The Band itself connects to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, and Mighty Cast is releasing a software development kit and API so that third-party developers can create their own modules.

READ MORE: The top 10 wearable tech devices in the world right now

Got, got, need

One thing Mighty Cast is keen to highlight is that the modules are collectible and swappable. The NEX Band is primarily aimed at teens and young adults, and the company wants users to swap mods like Panini stickers, Pogs and the like. To encourage people to do so, each mod contains a record of which countries it’s been in, how far it’s travelled, how many users’ wrists it’s been worn on and the like. Each NEX Band is also aware of other nearby NEX Bands, so it can be a way to meet new people too.

Because the mods are hardware devices, NEX Band can fight obsolescence longer than a lot of wearables. After two years your smartwatch will be pretty behind the times – but with the NEX, you can simply pop in a new selection of up-to-date mods.

We’ve already seen big companies embracing a modular tech future, Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone being the most notable example. Perhaps the NEX Band will be a part of that future. The Band will be available from this autumn, with a price of around US$100 (£60) looking likely.

[Mighty Cast via Mashable]

READ MORE: Project Ara: Everything we know about Google’s modular phone experiment

More after the break...