Project Ara might not be going quite to plan, but that doesn’t mean that modular gadgets are a bad idea. London-based Blocks Wearables reckons that offering users the option to tinker with their wristpiece is something to drool over, and it’s just sent its Kickstarter campaign live.
Almost every smartwatch we’ve used so far has been a disappointment. The Apple Watch was meant to be incredible. It isn’t. Neither’s the LG Watch Urbane. Blocks is hoping to change our opinion by going heavy on customisability. And no, we’re not just talking about different-coloured straps and bezels.
Its version of a smartwatch consists of a watchface (the core module) that you can surround with other hi-tech bits and bobs, which will be created by third-party companies. Say you want maximum battery life. Attach an extra battery module. Similarly, if you’re a mad keen runner, you can soup your Blocks number up with a GPS or heart-rate module. You get the picture. The company’s looking to raise $250,000 (£164,000), and has listed its core module at $195 (£130). You can get your hands on that, plus another four modules for an extra £50.
“Other companies try to select a set of features and sensors to make a device that is supposedly ideal for everyone,” Alireza Tahmasebzadeh, the co-founder of Blocks Wearables told us. “However, smartwatches are very personal and they should reflect our unique lifestyles, both in style and in function. BLOCKS enables users to build a smartwatch with functionalities that are essential to their activities and specific needs."
Sounds fiddly, but pretty nifty.