18 months after the announcement of its concept for a modular wearable, London-based Blocks Wearables announced the launch of its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, a modular smartwatch.
In partnership with one of the world’s largest manufacturers, Compal Electronics, and supported by ARM & Qualcomm, BLOCKS smartwatches will ship to backers in May 2016.
The core module – the watchface – is a fully functioning smartwatch on its own and has all the features of a standard smartwatch, such as phone notifications, activity tracking and voice control. The additional modules make BLOCKS unique. Using the space around the wrist, users can build a smartwatch that suits their lifestyle by combining modules. Blocks announced 5 modules and 2 more will be uncovered later during the crowdfunding campaign.
Extra Battery Module: Add extra batteries to extend battery life or keep swapping them to keep the watch running forever.
GPS Module: Use it for navigation and tracking your runs without the need to take your phone with you.
NFC Contactless Module: BLOCKS has partnered up with payment providers to offer a secure payment ability at a touch of the wrist.
Heart Rate Module: Get accurate heart rate readings, 24/7.
Adventure Module: Get live readings of temperature, pressure, and altitude. Use it while hiking, climbing, extreme sports, adventurous trips, and any type of outdoors activity.
Serge Didenko, co-founder at BLOCKS explains; “From smartphones to wearables, current technology is one-size-fits-all. This means that we’re all forced to compromise on what we want from our devices. Modularity is how we bring a greater choice of features to a device that is small enough to sit around our wrists.”
Alireza Tahmaseb, co-founder at BLOCKS adds; “You would need to buy a new smartwatch each year just to keep up with the evolving technology. This is contrary to how watches used to be. BLOCKS beats other smartwatches by being future-proof. You can upgrade your watch by adding new features, module by module, as they become available. BLOCKS is the last smartwatch you’ll ever need.”
BLOCKS is an open platform, meaning that any company or individual can develop modules. They anticipate modules for gaming, sports, healthcare, the workplace, or even experimental ones for academic research. The effect of an open platform is an infinite choice of modules for BLOCKS users.
They partnered with major technology companies to develop additional modules, and has over 1,500 individual developers already signed up. The BLOCKS Software Development Kit (SDK) and Module Development Kit (MDK) will be available soon to the developer community.
BLOCKS is available to back on Kickstarter for $195 for the core module only, or $275 for the core plus four modules of choice. Early bird prices are offered at a lower price.