The idea of building modular hardware is very appealing, users would get to choose those features that interest them and pay for each of them, while saving some money by not including some that they don’t find that interesting, plus, the hardware would be easily upgradable. Google has Project Ara to build a modular smartphone, but the development has been rather slow. It’s been more than a year when we first heard of Blocks, a UK company that was meant to build a modular smartwatch and today we finally have some news about that project.
When one thinks of a customizable smartwatch, one might think of the Moto 360 and Motorola’s Moto Maker, as it lets users choose from a variety of colors and materials for the straps and a few colors for the case itself. But that’s not what Blocks smartwatch is about, it actually comes closer to what Google is doing with Project Ara but this time for a smartwatch. It turns out that the Kickstarter campaign for this watch will begin on October 13th at 9 am Pacific Time and the company has released a video showing what to expect while not giving away too many details.
The video starts with a metallic piece with some sort of connector, then we find out it’s one of the links that would be joined in the strap. What’s more, we find out that each one of these links has a specific sensor to enhance the functionality of the smartwatch. We get to see the modules for the camera, battery, GPS, a heart rate sensor and an environment sensor. The video also shows a bunch of close-ups of the case and strap in different color options and a little bit of the interface. The company has answered a few questions and it will be compatible with iOS and Android and apparently an adjustable clasp will be included that will work with the number of modules are being utilized. We will have to wait a little longer for more details. Pebble actually had a similar idea with their Smartstraps, which would bring additional functions to their smartwatch, but it depends on the creativity of third-party developers.