Just weeks after Project Ara’s announcement and seven months after successfully raising $1.6 million on Kickstarter, BLOCKS, the first ever modular smartwatch, has laid out plans to go live this autumn.
The design has undergone a number of alterations, setting finally on a classic rounded bezel shape. It hosts a brand new processor, a fully round display in a new stainless steel casing. The steel adds some weight, but is still within reasonable limits when combined with high-quality polycarbonate links, or modules. The strap itself was decreased in size to provide more wrist comfort, and now includes a new plug-n-play connector. The mechanism lets users to quickly connect and disconnect modules with a snap of a finger, while still providing needed robustness.
The watch already supports various functions that surpass those on a regular smartphone. The dial props up smartphone notifications, activity tracking, voice control and other standard smartwatch apps. Modules, offered at launch will include GPS, extra battery, pulse sensor, humidity/temperature/altitude sensor, programmable button and a flashlight. Additional modules that will appear after the big day are body temperature, perspiration, fingerprint authentication and gesture control amongst others.
Like Google’s Ara, BLOCKS’ ultimate goal is to create an open platform, but for wearable devices (both hardware and software) that will open up a range of creative possibilities for users and developers. Modules will are expected to cover a range of interests, such as “gaming, sports, healthcare, the workplace, or even experimental ones for academic research.”
Serge Didenko, a co-founder, says “smartwatches will become the ultimate input devices to control our lives as soon as voice recognition reaches 99% effectiveness.” Modular watches or phones, we’re equally excited about the developments in the modular field. The coming year promises to become explosive for modular technology as more players will be entering the fray.
Stay tuned for more great news!