Gadgets Technology

The Building BLOCKS of a Smartwatch

Blocks Modular SmartWatchSmart watches are limited to what they can do due to their small size. The decision that smart watch designers have to make it what features will the wear need the most. Users will need to compromise on functions to find one that best suits their needs. BLOCKS is a modular smartwatch that gives users the choice of what functions that want with the ability to change modules.

The ability to change modules means that users are able to put together the smart watch they want depending on their current situation. Users start with the Core, the watch face and add modules to it. Modules available for BLOCKS include air quality reader, heart rate monitor, haptic, GPS, adventure, extra battery, ECG, camera, gesture control, fingerprint, NFC payments and flash memory. Developers are encouraged to create modules for BLOCKS, and the software is open source. BLOCKS hopes that many developers get involved so users have a range of choice that other smartwatches don’t have.

What works for relaxing doesn’t work for business, the needs of a student are different to the needs of a parent. One smart watch can’t be everything to everyone, and even individuals have different needs at different times. With BLOCKS, it’s possible for an individual to have their smart watch function for business, then easily change modules to have a smart watch designed for fitness.

The BLOCKS Core gives users phone notification, activity tracking, voice control, 1.5 days’ battery life, colour touch screen Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. On to this is added the modules. The app will be compatible with iPhones and Android smartphones. iOS 8 on the iPhone 4s and above is the minimum for iPhone users. Android users will require Android 4.0 and above to use BLOCKS. A range of smartphones will be compatible, such as LG, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi and more.

BLOCKS will use the latest version of Android combined with a Qualcomm processor. BLOCKS and Qualcomm worked together to create a device that has optimised power consumption. The band that comes with BLOCKS is adjustable with a specially designed clasp. The number of modules BLOCKS can fit depends on the size of the user’s wrist. Small wrists of less that 150mm will be able to have 3 modules, while wrists larger than 150mm will be able to fit 4 modules.

The basic BLOCKS pack of Core and Strap is $195. The standard pack that include the Core and 4 modules of your choice is $285. The Premium edition with a limited edition Core and 4 modules is $465. A standard Couple pack of 2 Cores and 8 modules is $530 (Early bird) or $550 normally. A family pack of 5 standard packs (5×1 Core, 5×4 modules) is $1,350. A 10 pack is $2,650 and a 30 pack is $7,800.

Source: Kickstarter

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