Check out this British smartwatch built from modular tech, which can be expanded with all-new sensors, batteries, screens and more…
British start-up Blocks could offer a glimpse of the future of wearable tech – a modular smartwatch that’s formed of separate pieces, which can be snapped together into a fully customisable wearable. The Blocks modular smartwatch is still in development, but it’s already giving us geek chills with its stunning conecpt.
You create your Blocks smartwatch by choosing the individual components – screen, battery, and individual sensors and features – then slotting them all together to form a complete device. In this way, you can customise your watch to suit your day ahead. Chilling at the office? Maybe add an audio jack to listen to tunes and a mic for recording voice memos. Off on an adventure holiday? You’ll want GPS to track your motions, a heart rate monitor to warn you if you’re about to keel over, and maybe a blood oxygen sensor too.
The main screen piece will also contain a primary battery and a Bluetooth sensor for hooking up to your smartphone, and the Blocks smartwatch will run Android Wear OS, so you can connect to any Android mobile (version 4.3 and above). As well as additional sensors, you’ll be able to add secondary batteries, fingerprint scanners and even SIM card slots, to keep you updated even if your phone dies.
And the Blocks architecture is all open-source too, so any old punter – even YOU – can create their own component pieces.
Each Blocks module will cost roughly £20 to £40 when the watch tech goes live, and when a new piece is connected, the watch will automatically download any additional apps that are needed to get it running. The possibilities are pretty damn exciting, with companies such as Barclays already interested in developing their own components – in that case, a contactless creit card piece.
Blocks is a project that began last November, the brainchild of some Imperial College students who took inspiration from Google’s Project Ara. A Kickstarter campaign is already being planned for autumn, and you can sign up to get notifications on the official website. With any luck, we’ll see finished products by summer 2015.
We’re pretty excited by the thought of modular smartwatches, but what do you reckon? Think Blocks could be the future of wearables? Let us know in the comments below.