Sourcing influence and developing upon dave hakken’s phonebloks and google’s project ara, blocks wearables have introduced an open platform system, enabling a smartwatch to be customized almost infinitely.
during CES 2015 in las vegas, the company presented some early prototypes and mock-ups, highlighting how the system could eventually look like and how it could work. the ‘blocks’ concept was originally introduced earlier in 2014, but now has been presented using processing chips from intel, and features other design and technical adjustments.
the device will be offered with either an e-ink or LCD display configuration and has been engineered to be modified for better performance with different hardware modules such as cameras, longer lasting batteries, gestural controls, fingerprint scanners or GPS. it can even be configured with options to be used as a fitness tracker by pairing infrared heart rate monitors, or temperature, altitude and pressure sensors. this means that the personal gadget matches each user’s lifestyle and preferences as they can customize and decide how it looks, how it acts and what it monitors, by selecting the set-up.
the smartwatch is projected to run on an android operating system and will also be compatible with windows phone. according to blocks, as new modules and technology becomes available, users will be able to replace each ‘block’ piece by piece, rather than having to replace the entire unit. the company is scheduled to release its module development kit and will officially introduce the finished product via kickstarter later this year. several companies have already signed up to develop their own blocks, but in the meantime the team is in the middle of developing its printed circuit boards and are working on the ergonomics and aesthetics of the design.
each block is designed with removable covers, enabling customization with a range of materials and colors.
the core of block lays in the watch face — the module containing the touch display and processor