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BLOCKS – the first modular smartwatch

The BLOCKS modular watch is a project started in November 2013. The idea was to create a device that can be easily adapted to your needs. BLOCKS gives you the possibility to choose what you want your smartwatch to do and change its features as often as you like. Similar to a PC, the BLOCKS smartwatch can be upgraded with different pieces of hardware (modules) and each piece gives the watch a different feature or function.

Customization seems to be BLOCKS’ main focus point. The user has complete control over the watch’s capabilities and freedom to choose what it can do. Something that other manufacturers do not offer, they sell a device with a fix set of features. These features may not be to everyone’s liking and at most an app installer is the maximum way you could customize such a device. In other words, with a modular device you are not stuck with unwanted features that you paid for, you only pay for those you want to use.

This quick presentation  from the BLOCKS shows us a few key features of these device. We see that the modules form the watch’s strap. This is a very ingenious way to combine usefulness with design in order to save space and have maximum productivity. But this way of connecting modules can become a problem. For example if the user has a small wrist he or she can only use a small number of modules and maybe that number is not enough. On the other side if the wrist is too wide the user might have to buy 1 or more modules they don’t need, only to be able to wear the BLOCKS smartwatch.

blocks modular smartwatch 2

The core module, or the watch itself is equipped with a 1.34 touchscreen display, a microphone to record notes or talk, vibration motor, accelerometer, 400 mAh battery ( said to last for a day and a half with no other modules.), a Snapdragon 400 processor and a low energy Bluetooth for syncing with and iOS or Android device. Like other smartwatches, the BLOCKS can be used to remotely control a few key features of smartphones. Like answering calls, receiving notifications or synchronize with the calendar and reminders.

modules

There are tens of modules to choose from. And there is the fact that BLOCKS has an open platform and encourages other developers to create new modules. This way the possibilities are infinite. There will be all sorts of modules for the BLOCKS smartwatch that we can’t even begin to think of right now, things that you know you need only after you’ve seen them. For me the most important module would be the extended battery, followed by the kinetic charger. These two would bring a significant improvement to the BLOCKS autonomy. Other modules I like are the SIM card module, Gesture Control, Camera and Environment Sensor.

The beauty of the BLOCKS watch is that you can combine modules in whatever way to like to help you with what you’re doing. You could have a set of modules at work and change them if you want to do something different, like sports.

 

 

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About Calin Andreescu

I have always been eager to try out any gadget I could get my hands on. I became a tech journalist so that I could always be around technology and see the newest devices. I use gadgets every day to make my work and life easier. I have enough experience to know If a device is actually improving my activity, offers something useful or new. I will post my honest opinions and judge a device as objectively as I can.

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