If you like Phoneblocks / Project Ara module model concept, you may also be interested in Blocks, a modular smartwatch comprised of blocks connected via 3.5mm jacks. The watch is running Tizen on Edison development board powered by Intel dual-core Atom + Quark SoC, and part of the 10 finalists of Intel’s Make It Wearable challenge.
Most smartwatches comes with a dumb” watchband, but with Blocks both the actual watch, and watchband are smart and customizable. You can change from round to square display, and add modules, which are part of the watchband, adding features like GPS, heat rate monitor, motion sensors, extra battery capacity, SIM card, contactless payment, temperature sensors, and so on. Each module also have a removable cover to let you change the color. One of the main drawbacks of current smartwatches is the battery life (1 to 2 days), so if it is possible to connect battery modules in series to get over a week of battery life, it could certainly be interesting. The best way to see how it all fits together is to watch the video below.
Blocks is still in development, and (partially?) funded by Intel, but the company is planning a crowdfunding campaign in 2015, and you can reserve your modular watch for a $50 refundable deposit, which will ensure you get an early bird price once the campaign goes live. Techcrunch reports the core block with touchscreen, processor, and Bluetooth module, will cost between $120 to $150, and each extra module will go for an extra $20 to $40. Shipping is scheduled for late 2015.
Visit Blocks website for a few more details, and register for news. You may also want to read Intel’s blog post about Blocks.
Via LinuxGizmos and Tizen Experts.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.