Blocks Wearables, a young startup company based in London, launched today Blocks modular smartwatch crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
During the past 18 months since the announcement of concept for modular wearables, the founders of Blocks Wearables, Alireza Tahmasebzadeh and Serge Didenko, have gone a long way from an idea to a final product. They acquired a solid team of engineers, created a cool-looking and functional design for their smartwatch, partnered with one of the world’s largest manufacturers, Compal Electronics, enlisted the support of ARM & Qualcomm, spread the word about the invention, so that many tech media sources, mobile developers and end users are watching closely the progress on Blocks smartwatch.
Blocks has 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.
The core module of Blocks – the watchface – is a fully functioning smartwatch 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 unveiled later during the crowdfunding campaign.
Modules announced for Kickstarter campaign:
• Extra Battery Module: Add extra batteries to extend battery life or keep swapping them to keep the watch running forever. Each extra battery module gives at least 20% more charge.
• GPS Module: With other smartwatches you are dependent on your phone for location data. With a GPS module, you can leave your phone at home, and still track your activities
• NFC Contactless Module: Blocks has partnered up with payment providers to offer secure payment ability at touch of a 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 outdoor activity.
Blocks are hot swappable and easily replaceable, swap in and out any module in seconds. You don’t need to restart the watch when a module is connected, it will work straight away.
At the design stage a thorough survey of human wrist types, both in geometry and size, was performed . The watch can accommodate between a majority of wrist sizes 140mm-200mm in circumferences and has an ergonomic shape to be comfortable to wear in any configuration with a highly adjustable clasp. The smallest wrist size will be able to fit Core + 3 modules + adjustable clasp. Large wrists will be able to fit Core + 4 modules + adjustable clasp (most people will fall into this range). The largest wrist can fit Core + 5 modules + adjustable clasp.
Blocks is compatible with both Android and iOS based smartphones. Mobile application, which can be downloaded on any iOS or android device, enables users to customize watchfaces, download apps for Blocks watch and choose the notifications you want to see.
Blocks is an open hardware platform, allowing any company or individual to build modules for very specific applications.
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 available for reserve order 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.
Update: Blocks crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter went on from October 13, 2015 till November 19, 2015, and successfully exceeded the target of $250,000 by collecting $1,613,874.