Blocks Modular Smartwatch To Sport Qualcomm SD 400
If you thought that the smartwatch space was going to experience the same boom Android experienced in 2010, you will be glad to know of this new kid on the block (pun intended).
Blocks is a smartwatch concept which is looking to make its way out of the drawing-room and onto your wrist. Designed by Blocks Wearables as an evolution and extension of the Phonebloks concept, Blocks is essentially modularity applied to wearables, with the core principles remaining the same.
At its heart, Blocks uses a core module which would house the watch face on the exterior and equipment for core functionality like the processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Motion sensor and the primary battery in the interior. Modules for added functionality come in the form of individual links which form the bracelet while housing miscellaneous equipment such as a heart rate sensor, extra battery power or even a fingerprint sensor.
The first early-stage prototype was shown off at CES 2015. Now, at the Qualcomm press event at the Computex Expo held in Taipei, Taiwan, Blocks has announced that the device will be powered by the Snapdragon 400 and also treated us with new renders for the device. The first core module will be a circular color touchscreen unit, and the device will also run on a modified version of Lollipop, rather than Android Wear, which is an interesting choice.
According to the FAQ, Blocks Wearables will launch its crowdfunding campaign for Blocks in summer 2015. Blocks will also support both Android and iOS devices on launch.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Blocks Co-founder Alireza Tahmasebzadeh explains the delay in launching the crowdfunding campaign is because they were finalizing the manufacturing agreement with Taiwanese ODM Compal in order to mass produce Blocks. Meanwhile, they have been working on refining the module connector design. As most of the heavy work is on the final stages, the device will be able to ship within 7-8 months of its crowdfunding campaign.
We are excited to see how this device would affect existing competition. While modularity of this wearable is not at the level of the Phonebloks concept at this stage (For example, Processor choice is limited, along with the combination of the internals of the core module being fixed, hence limiting modularity), it is certainly solid for the first iteration of what is essentially an experiment in the way we view devices.
What do you think of the Blocks wearable? Do you prefer the appeal of an extremely personalized smartwatch over what is now “traditional” smartwatches? How do you think competitors will adapt to the challenge and change this brings in the wearable market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!