The Kickstarter project launched in October of 2015, and is finally rolling out with an official launch. The project started with a $250,000 goal but received over $1.6 million from 5,000 backers in just one month. BLOCKS intended to launch and ship in 2016, but there were several setbacks.
What is BLOCKS?
BLOCKS is a modular smartwatch intended to be upgradeable in the future, rather than needing to switch out the entire watch every few cycles. It also enables users to choose exactly which features they want to have. The watch is made up of two primary component types:
- The Core, which is the main watch piece that has the processing power to operate the watch (specs will be posted below)
- Modules - these are upgradable components that attach to the core and provide additional functionality.
Backers in the campaign automatically receive four components of their choosing, from the original six that are available at launch.
What are Modules, and what is available now?
Modules are essentially extensions that connect to the band and core of the watch, to provide additional functionality. There are currently three phases of modules, with the first phase being released with the Kickstarter project:
- Extra Battery Module, it provides 20% additional battery life to the core. Running out of battery on the go? Attach a charged battery module to get that extra battery life.
- GPS Module, which will give you location tracking and other GPS related benefits.
- Heart Rate Module, a fantastic tool for runners and those interested in monitoring their health a little more closely.
- NFC Module, for making payments at a variety of stores that support NFC.
- Adventure Module, which monitors your environment for the following: temperature, pressure, and altitude. Amazing tool for hikers and outdoor sports.
Image of NFC module, by BLOCKS.
Phase Two: These modules are not done yet and are considered "planned modules". The release is set to be after all backers receive their BLOCKS watches.
- SIM Card Module, allows you to receive texts and phone calls without needing the phone with you.
- Fingerprint Module, if you're interested in additional security for authenticating payments.
- LED Module, can be used for notifications or a mini flashlight.
- Programmable Button Module, which is probably one of the coolest modules. This can be used to be used for whatever action you want.
And Phase Three, which are "future" modules:
- Air Quality Module
- Camera Module
- Flash Memory Module
- Stress Levels Module
- Body Temperature Module
How many Modules can I use simultaneously?
As it currently stands, small wrists are estimated to use about three modules, while medium to large wrists can pull off four modules at the same time. The BLOCKS team says that with time they hope to decrease the size of modules to allow more to be used at one time. That's the power of a modular watch, BLOCKS will be able to make these changes over time without requiring users to purchase an entirely new watch.
The watch is compatible with both iOS and Android, and nearly identical feature support on each. The company does mention that as it currently stands, iOS users will unfortunately not be able to respond to notifications directly on the watch face, but that they hope to acheive support for this in the future.
Check out this official teaser by the BLOCKS team:
These are the official specs provided by the BLOCKS campaign:
- Snapdragon 400
- WIFI 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooh 4.1 (BLE)
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Flash (ePOP)
- 1.35" Full Round Display
- Acceloromter / Gyroscope
- 360 x 360 Resolution
- Power On/Off Button
- 400 mAh Battery
- Vibration Motor
What do you think? Interested in ordering one? Let us know in the comments below!