Innovation That Matters

Modular smartwatch lets wearers pick and choose the functions they need

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Blocks is a smart watch with a wristband made up of varying components that enable wearers to tailor the device's functions.

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While Google’s Project Ara may be some way from hitting the market, we have already started to see similar projects that enable consumers to customize the hardware they use. The NEX band has combined modular sensors with custom designs to capture the fickle teen market, and now Blocks is a smart watch with a wristband made up of varying components that enable wearers to tailor the device’s functions.

Blocks, as its name suggests, is made up of individual blocks that link together to form the band of the smartwatch. The display is placed in the middle and dummy blocks can be included to make sure the device fits the wearer’s wrist. Each block acts as a piece of hardware that gives the watch functionality, and users can choose from a range of sensors, controls and connectors. Sensors available include an accelerometer, microphone, hand gesture detector, GPS location and a fingerprint reader, while users can also add extra battery, a USB connection or a camera, among many other options. Because the smartwatch pieces can be easily detached and reassembled, customers can tailor their device for different activities on the fly.

Watch the video below to see the device in action:

Blocks uses a unique design to enable personalization and customization of a device that typically restricts users to the hardware that it comes with. There’s currently no news on pricing for consumers, but the team has opened up the platform for developers to create their own blocks. Are there other devices that could use this kind of modular build?



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