Blocks bids to build smartwatch of the future

Blocks bids to build smartwatch of the future

Blocks, a London-based startup that promises to revolutionise the smartwatch market with a modular smartstrap capable of performing NFC payments, heartrate monitoring and a host of other functions, has raised close to $700,000 - almost triple its $250,000 target - within its first three days on Kickstarter.

With a regular round watchface - or 'core' in Blocks terminology - the Blocks strap consists of a series of interconnected microprocessing devices capable of performing a multitude of functions.

The core display embeds a processor, a motion sensor and Bluetooth to support features such as reading notifications, text messages, emails and calendar alerts from a paired smartphone as well as tracking the wearer's sleep and activity patterns.

In the crowdfunding campaign, subscribers can pick from the following four modules:

  • Extra battery block
  • Heart rate block
  • Location block (GPS)
  • Contactless payments block (NFC)

As an open platform, Blocks allows third parties to develop Modules and the firm says it has entered alliances with multiple companies and up to 1500 third party developers to work on a new range of modules, from fingerprint sensing to voice-controlled SIM cards.

"Our Modules make Blocks unique," says the company's Kickstarter testimonial. "They provide an ever-growing selection of features for you to choose from. By utilising the space around the wrist, users can build a smartwatch that suits their lifestyle by connecting Modules together to their Core. The possibilities are limitless."

The watch retails at $195, and a pack of four modules costs $250.

Update With 34 days still to go, the Kickstarter number continues to grow, reaching $781,000 from over 2000 backers at close on Friday.

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