Blocks, the modular smartwatch that first grabbed our attention more than a year ago, is almost ready to launch. During a Qualcomm press event at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Blocks announced plans for a crowdfunded campaign that will launch this summer. It also discussed a few new specs and details.
Block will pack a Snapdragon 400 processor and will run a highly modified version of Android Lollipop that works with both Android and iOS devices. The company also said it plans to offer a circular watch face first, though it also has square and rectangular display options in the works.
The concept behind Blocks is pretty simple. The watch face serves as the “core module,” packing in a processor, battery, microphone and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and motion sensors. The company will also offer individual links, with each one serving a different function ranging from extra battery life to specialized sensors. The watch is also built on an open platform so anyone can make modules and sell them through the upcoming BlockStore.
It’s a pretty cool idea, especially if you’re not so impressed with the Apple Watch and Android Wear’s limited capabilities. To be honest, when Blocks first surfaced as a concept design last year we weren’t sure it would ever launch. Now that the company has Qualcomm’s backing, it seems a lot more likely the modular smartwatch might actually be released, maybe even before the end of 2015.