56 minutes to raise $250,000 on Kickstarter.
BLOCKS started way back in November 2013. They had the perfect plan - to build modular smartwatches. 2013 was the year when smartwatches like Pebble really started to gain traction. At that time, even the idea of smartwatches was absurd. But because BLOCKS started way back then, it had the time to develop and bring a unique product to the market.
So BLOCKS yesterday started its Kickstarter campaign and boy, it was a huge success. BLOCKS hit its goal of $250,000 in just 56 minutes and currently has earned over $500,000 and still has 36 days to go. But what makes this smartwatch so cool?
Modularity has been a popular concept that hasn’t really successfully been put into practice - at least with gadgets. Project Ara, the modular phone Google is building, is still under development (it has been years now, and people are sick of waiting). So what is modularity and why is it so difficult to achieve? Compare the concept of modularity to Lego blocks. Many unique Lego blocks come together to form a structure. That is exactly how modularity works: join the pieces together and you will get a working product.
BLOCKS’ modules are very unique. There are modules for everything from a heart rate sensor to a kinetic charger. Some are obvious - like the fingerprint scanner and the super bright LED light, while some you wouldn’t even have though would exist - like the blood oxygen module, the environment sensor and the gesture control module. But they all work by chaining into other modules to form the strap. The smartwatch ‘Core Clock’ is what powers and controls each of these modules.
In some sense, the watch isn’t entirely modular. You can remove all modules and just buy the Core Clock, attach a normal strap and use it as a smartwatch. But you will definitely miss the added functionality and advantages of the modules.
It is worth checking out the BLOCKS website for more information on the product. And of course, if you want to buy the smartwatch, hit their Kickstarter campaign and pick up the core + 4 modules at around $300 (That is very cheap for such an interesting smartwatch. In comparison, the Apple Watch 38mm Sport starts at $349) and will start shipping mid next year. The BLOCKS smartwatch will work with both iOS and Android.