Google’s Project Ara smartphone isn’t the only modular mobile device in development, as the Blocks modular smartwatch which was originally announced last year, also seeks to bring the world of modular devices and customizable consumer choice, but to the still ever growing world of wearables instead of smartphones. Just this morning at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, Blocks Wearables has announced that they’re partnering with Qualcomm, one of the world’s leading manufacturers in mobile processors, to power the Blocks Modular Smartwatch which is scheduled to be launched in a crowdfunding campaign later on this Summer. Not only will Qualcomm’s chips be powering the device, but Qualcomm noted that the Snapdragon 400 processor which uses the ARM Cortex A7 CPUs will be the processor of choice, and that an optimized version of Android Lollipop will be running on the watch which will be compatible with both Android and iOS devices so as to provide users with open compatibility regardless of their device OS preference, Blocks Wearables also states that this optimized version of Android Lollipop instead of something like Android Wear will allow them to give the watch longer battery life than what you might find on other smartwatches.
Although there will likely be more options for components in the future after Blocks Wearables launches their first model, the initial offering for the Blocks Modular Smartwatch will be a round watch face. This will be the “core module” which contains the Bluetooth, WiFi, motion sensors, the CPU, main battery and the microphone. With the Snapdragon 400 having support for GPS, NFC, and GSM, Blocks Wearables has plans to release a selection of other modules which can be snapped onto the main “core module” of the watch to enhance it with additional features like location tracking and connectivity to cell networks.
In addition to partnering with Qualcomm, Blocks Wearables is also partnering with Compal who will handle the manufacturing of the watch itself, and a British Jewellery and accessories brand called Tateossian who will provide consumers with customization options for the shells. The shells will be a varied collection of outer housings which consumers can place around the modules to give them a personalized look, much like Sony has done for the bands of the Smartwatch 3. Tateossian will be manufacturing a range of different colors, textures and materials for the shells to present a varied spread of options that lets customers truly make their Blocks Modular Smartwatch unique, which is something that is sorely needed in the wearables space, more customization. Those interested in learning more about the Blocks Modular Smartwatch can find details on their website.