Earlier this week, the Blocks modular smartwatch has launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and has already managed to surpass its goal of raising $250,000 — as I’m writing this they are approaching the $850,000 figure.
The open-source device starts at $195 for the “core” smartwatch and a strap, while $275 adds four additional modules.
Blocks smartwatch starts at $195 for the “core” smartwatch and a strap, while $275 adds four additional modules.The “core” includes a color touchscreen, with an accelerometer and gyroscope, and a microphone for voice control. It pairs with iOS and Android devices to show notifications, and provide users with useful information about their heart rate, activity, and other details, provided they have the “right” module in place. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 System-on-Chip (SoC) makes sure things running smoothly.
Said modules allow users to expand the capability of the watch — they [users] can plug-in an extra battery module for extra juice, a heart rate sensor, GPS, and the so called “adventure” module that adds temperature, altitude, and air pressure sensors. And, that’s just a start with future modules set to include a fingerprint reader, a SIM card option, and a camera module, for example.
All these modules, some of which are being developed with established players, will be accessible through an SDK that will be released in the near future.
We have no problem envisioning special mHealth modules with extra sensitive sensors that would make Blocks a powerful tool for chronic condition patients and perhaps even clinical trials. Or better, Blocks may end-up being acquired by some bigger company, which let’s say, is also working on such mobile device — think Google and its Project Ara modular smartphone. Or someone else jumps on the opportunity before the Mountain View-based search giant “pulls the trigger.” In the meantime, we have Blocks’ promotional video to share. Check it out.