Blocks, a company behind the world’s first modular smartwatch, has just announced a new operating system for smartwatches, the so-called ‘Project OpenWatch’, though this is not a full-fledged OS, which we’ll talk about in a minute. First and foremost, it is worth noting that this is an open source operating system, and the company is using the code which was developed in collaboration with the Android ROM community. The company is releasing this project, which will allow pretty much any developer build their very own wearable platform, as the company is expecting to challenge Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) down the road.
Blocks says that the current codebase is based on Android Oreo, and that it can run on a number of smartwatches that are currently available out there, including Blocks’ very own smartwatch. Now, the current codebase actually supports a ton of MediaTek-powered smartwatches as well, in case you were wondering, even smartwatches that cost well less than $100. Now, to be clear, Blocks did not release a fully-fledged smartwatch operating system with Project OpenWatch, but they are funding initial development, and collaborating with a number of ROM developers to make several variants of OpenWatch OS available at release. Blocks is currently collaborating with Team Carbon, and some developers who are developing Lineage OS.
The company’s Founder, Serge Didenko, said that the success of Project OpenWatch depends on the community, for the most part. It remains to be seen if the open source developer community will embrace Project OpenWatch, and develop smartwatch software based on the provided codebase. Now, having in mind that Project OpenWatch is not a fully-fledged OS, or anything of the sort, the company does not have any software images or feature to show off, same goes for hardware, as Block did not announce anything hardware-related this time around. Having said that, smartwatches are not exactly as popular as companies expected them to be, they’re still a niche product, but releases like Project OpenWatch will hopefully give smartwatches the necessary boost, and end up fueling new OS’ that will become at least somewhat popular, and a decent competition to Google’s Wear OS. Block may release more info regarding Project OpenWatch during the day, and if that happens, we'll make sure to update this article.