It's been a year-and-a-half since we first heard about BLOCKS and its plans to become the world's first modular smartwatch. Now, at last, the BLOCKS team is ready to sell us one. Sort of. BLOCKS has launched its Kickstarter campaign, giving all eager to build their own fully-functional, fully-customizable smartwatch the opportunity to get their name (and dollars) queued up for an anticipated May 2016 release.
The BLOCKS foundation, its Core, is a watch face with all of the standard features of a smartwatch. Link it to your phone to receive notifications, use it as an activity tracker, and give it orders with voice control. From there you'll start building your strap out of individual modules able to perform the functions most important to you. Examples include an extra battery, GPS system, heart rate monitor, and NFC contactless payments modules. BLOCKS also has SIM card, LED light, fingerprint authentication, and programmable button (trigger any action on your BLOCKS watch or smartphone) modules in the works. Further, the watch tech will be open platform, so any company or individual is free to develop new modules for anything from gaming and sports to academic research. At printing, the SDK and M(odule)DK were on their way.
In addition to being pretty damn cool, the BLOCKS smartwatch, and modular tech in general, promotes longevity. Not only can wearers swap modules on a daily basis to meet the needs of their activities, but they can continue swapping modules over time as new or upgraded versions become available, or as different links wear and break. You might still feel compelled to suffer a cash dump for a whole new phone/laptop/car every couple of years, but with BLOCKS you'll need only add or replace individual segments.
The BLOCKS smartwatch is compatible with both iOS and Android. It's open for Kickstarter backing through November 19, 2015.