BLOCKS - Customizable Smartwatch

Posted: March 19, 2014

Like Phonebloks (i.e., Google's Project Ara), the forthcoming BLOCKS smartwatch will encompass an array of detachable modules. Wearers will be able to snap together hardware, sensor, app, and "dummy" (for sizing) BLOCKS to custom-create a piece of wearable tech, and the wristwatch that best suits their needs. Further, when those needs change, or when inevitable tech upgrades debut, instead of buying a new device, they'll simply swap out the BLOCKS they don't need at the moment for those they do.

Individual BLOCKS can do anything from tell the time to receive phone calls to provide navigation services to perform gesture-controlled actions. Snapped alongside one another, BLOCKS form the ultimate personalized smartwatch: versatile, infinitely alterable, never obsolete. If all goes as plans, a BLOCKS smartwatch will be the last watch any of us who buys a BLOCKS smartwatch ever buys.

Of course, we'll need to buy new unique BLOCKS as originals wear or become outdated, and new technology emerges. But BLOCKS creators point out that, for many, discarding and buying a new piece of the whole will still be preferable to tossing out and replacing the entire whole. Particularly at the 6- to 12-month rate the "latest and greatest" seems to keep evolving.

BLOCKS will maintain open software and hardware platforms so any company or individual can develop apps or build BLOCKS themselves. At this point--an undisclosed amount of time prior to the BLOCKS smartwatch's release--the hardware library includes the following BLOCK modules:

  • Display (multiple styles)
  • Camera
  • GPS
  • Motion
  • Fingerprint
  • Heart Rate
  • Microphone
  • Audio Jack
  • Sim Card
  • Blood Oxygen
  • Temperature
  • Gesture Control

App BLOCKS include:

  • Calls
  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Navigation
  • Voice Commands
  • Music
  • Smart Alarm
  • Contactless Payments

Fitness enthusiasts, adventurers, techies, even old schoolers who still just want to look at their wrist for the time, can all BLOCKS together a watch that complements their specific activity or lifestyle. Check out the BLOCKS Website for examples of pairing options, as well as to sign up for notification of BLOCKS' production.

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