Coming Soon: Build Your Own Smartwatch with Blocks

Yahoo TechMarch 7, 2014


Inspired by Google’s Project Ara, Blocks wants to bring the same modular concept to wearable technology devices.

The idea is simple. Pick the “Blocks” you want — a GPS tracker, a heart-rate monitor, a double battery — and clip them together to make a bracelet. Then clip on a screen and the result is a smartwatch that contains only the features you want.

And of course, as those needs change, there’s no need to dump the watch in favor of a new device; just add or remove blocks to create a new smartwatch. Think you need to get into shape? Add a motion sensor. Want to be more productive? There’s a microphone for dictation.

Well, that’s the concept, anyway. Like Google’s Project Ara, which aims to bring modularity to smartphones, Blocks is still in the construction stage. And like the smartphone equivalent, Blocks wants to do everything on an open platform that can be tapped by hardware and software developers who will bring more apps, functions and features to the devices over time.

The design itself is rather intelligent. Each hardware Block is essentially a bracelet link, making up the strap that holds the watch on a wearer’s wrist. It means that features are potentially limited only by a person’s lower arm circumference.

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