13/10/2015

There's a new smartwatch on the BLOCKs

After a 2 year wait, the BLOCKS smartwatch is now live on Kickstarter. It has a round face and comes in 3 colours (Onyx Black, Marble White, Sunrise Red) with a 360 x 360 colour display with haptic feedback.

Inside it's got quite a lot of technology inside the core itself: -

  • Snapdragon 400 CPU
  • WiFi supporting 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth SMART)
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Flash (ePOP
  • 1.35" fully round display
  • Accelerometer / Gyroscope
  • Power button
  • Microphone
  • Vibration (motor)

It runs a (full) version of Android Lollipop (not Android Wear) which gives the core module much more functionality than standard Android based smartwatches. It doesn't stop there as the watch can be upgraded with modules (blocks) which can be thought of as strap links. A large wrist will support 4 blocks, while a more petite wrist should support 3.

Though designed to support extra modules, the watch core (i.e. the main round watch bit) will function by itself and the lowest cost option is just the core and a strap.

The BLOCKS smartwatch is fully compatible with both iOS (v8+) and Android.

The exciting bit is the additional modules, the following are available via the Kickstarter campaign: -

  • Extra battery (the main battery lasts about a day and a half, this extends the period by at least 20%)
  • Heart Rate module - uses and optical sensor
  • GPS module
  • NFC Module - may support contactless payment
  • Adventure module - it measures altitude, pressure and temperature

Next year the following modules are planned (Phase 2): -

  • GSM module - insert a SIM and leave your phone at home
  • Fingerprint module - authenticate things, maybe NFC payments
  • LED module - a torch?
  • Button module - use for emergency alerts or anything else you can think of using a button for

Then at a later date the following modules might come into being: -

  • Air Quality module
  • Camera module
  • Flash Memory module
  • Stress Levels module

The smartphone app allows further modules to be purchased (BLOCKstore), customise watch faces and buy watch apps (BLOCKSware?).

The basic BLOCKS core (and strap) starts at $195. The Super Early Bird (sold out) was at $250, the Early Bird (one left at time of publishing) was $260 and the Late Early Bird is $275 which goes up to $285 when all the early birds have gone. All of the later pricing includes for modules and further modules can be purchased for $30. There are also options to purchase multiple units.

BLOCKS has now been fully funded (the campaign launched at 5pm UK time) and has raised over $300,000 of a $250,000 target, that's $300,000 in under 2 hours!!!

Post a Comment