It’s been almost a year since we first featured the Blocks modular smartwatch that lets users decide the features. More details were revealed a few months ago and as promised that it would be released late summer through a crowdfunding, the Blocks modular smartwatch is now on Kickstarter.
Blocks is the first modular smartwatch in the world. It was introduced by Phoneblocks, a company that makes modular smartphones for people who want a more personalized and customized device. Right now, it’s on Kickstarter published by BLOCKS Wearables. It’s currently listed with a $250,000 pledge goal but with still 36 days more to go, amount raised is now over $400,000. Thanks to those 1,460 backers who believe in this modular smartwatch that took on the idea of a modular smartphone, very much like the ‘Project Ara’.
While we have yet to see the actual Project Ara phone arrive in the market, this modular smartwatch might be released ahead of schedule if things go well. It’s smaller and easier to assemble compared to a mobile phone. With Blocks, you only need to choose the modules you want found on the links of the watch strap. Each one comes with each function. Select those features or specs you need. This means you can easily swap or upgrade the product when you want to or need to. This way, the smartwatch won’t be outdated because you can always upgrade the links of the strap.
The team behind the Blocks modular smartwatch believes that watches should last. It’s meant to be timeless. What’s the point of having a classic-looking watch if the specs easily get old and outdated. Blocks is meant to “evolve” and keep up with technology. BLOCKS Wearables promised that they will be releasing new modules regularly and as soon a new tech is available.
More customization options are available too as the smartwatch uses an open platform. Anyone can make or use modules whether for school, workplace, sports, gaming, or healthcare. More modules are being developed as of the moment. BLOCKS Wearables have already partnered with some major tech groups. More than 1,500 developers have signed up to get the Module Development Kit (MDK) and the Software Development Kit (SDK).
Some of the modules that will be available are as follows:
• Extra Battery Module
• Heart Rate Module
• GPS Module
• NFC Contactless Module
• Adventure Module (Altitude, Pressure, and Temperatures)
• SIM Card (GSM) Module
• Fingerprint Module
• LED Module
• Programmable Button Module
• Air Quality Module
• Camera Module
• Flash Memory Module
• Stress Levels Module
Features of the Blocks Core, the watch face, include phone notification, activity tracking, voice control, color touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, WiFi, haptic feedback, and 1.5 days battery life. Smartwatch will be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, running at least Android 4.0 and iOS 8 (iPhone 4S and up).
Of course, it will need a Blocks companion app and a BLOCKStore will be opened for companies and individual developers to create and start selling their modules. Smartwatch owners can buy new or trade their modules from the BLOCKStore as well.
A minimum pledge of $5 is accepted but if you want to get a core and strap, donate $195 and the team will send you one set. If you’re too generous, give as much as $7,800 and get 30 full BLOCKS watches.
This is a crowdfunded project, and as such may not deliver what its creators initially promise. Most crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have policies about what happens to your money if the project fails to deliver on its goals, but choosing to back a project is inevitably a risk. Android Community’s reporting on crowdfunded projects should in no way be seen as an endorsement, unless specifically stated, and we recommend closely examining the terms and conditions to understand your individual rights as a backer before making a pledge.