Sci & Tech

Watch Out for Blocks Presales

Watch Out for  Blocks Presales
Watch Out for  Blocks Presales

A smartwatch designed in a modular format by British Iranian Alireza Tahmaseb-Zadeh and his team of engineers in the United Kingdom is now available for pre-order, according to the company’s website.

The inventor of the newly developed modular watch design also wowed the general public during his initial round of investment with Kickstarter in 2015.

The device raised over $1.6 million in Kickstarter funding with over 5,000 people signing up for the device.

In a new teaser trailer uploaded online, the new Blocks smartwatch aims to hit the market in the next few months. The watch officially has been priced at $330, and comes in “onyx black”, “sunrise red”, or “marble white”.

That price includes four modules that you can swap in and out on your wristband, and you can choose which module you want from six available options: Extra Battery, Heart Rate, GPS, Adventure (a sensor that measures temperature, pressure, altitude and humidity), Flashlight, and Programmable Button. Additional modules cost $35 each, according to Phandroid.

Blocks is extending the concept of the App Store to the physical world. Smartwatches today have limited features and are useful only in a handful of situations. At Blocks, modularity will give choice back to the users, to select the features that are important to them for their unique needs every day.

More modules are expected in the future, though you’ll only be able to fit four to five models on your Blocks watch, depending on how big your wrist is. You can also choose to use regular straps with the Blocks watch, if you’re not interested in additional modules.

The company has now refined the design of the watch. The device features a “fully round” AMOLED display, a new stainless steel casing and packs a new processor. The modules were further miniaturized to provide more wrist comfort and now have a plug-n-play connector that should make connecting and disconnecting modules easier than before.

According to a press release by the company originally posted by BGR, specs-wise, buyers of the watch can expect a 1.39-inch display with 400 x 400 resolution and Gorilla Glass 4.0, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-i 802.11 b/g/n, 300mAh battery.

In November, Financial Tribune interviewed Tahmaseb-Zadeh about his new invention. He said he originally worked on a gesture-control wristband idea three years ago as part of research he was doing in his own time while studying for his degree.

He added that BLOCKS has three main benefits: It is a personalized and bespoke watch rather than being a generic device. Going on to say that Blocks is future-proof and the last smartwatch you will ever need.

He added that studying in Iran for his high school definitely was very helpful in shaping his skills and knowledge to develop the modular watch.  “Attending the Olympiads and Khwarizmi competition in the country helped me to develop my intellectual skills. I had a very short time at the University of Tehran, but even that short time was useful toward improving my skills,” he said.

The idea of modular anything is a hot topic right now, especially Google’s Project Ara, which is also expected to ship with six slots for modules when it comes to consumers next year.