We got a sense of what Blocks Wearables is trying to achieve back at CES earlier this year. There, the company showed off a design mock-up for a smartwatch that could have interchangeable modules, a concept similar to what Google has been shooting for in smartphones with Project Ara. While the CES design wasn't a working watch, it sounds like Blocks is getting closer to that goal: today, the company is showing off some new renders of the upcoming device and announcing that the watch will be powered by Qualcomm.
Specifically, the main watch face "module" will include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, something not altogether different from what you'll find in a number of Android Wear smartwatches. What Blocks promises will set its watch apart is the concept of modules — you'll be able to snap different hardward bits into the band to enhance the watch's functionality, if all goes according to plan. At CES, the company said it would build modules for extended batteries, GPS, cellular connectivity, contactless payments, or a heart-rate monitoring link.
The other unique bit about Blocks is that the watch will run Android Lollipop — but will be able to work with Android and iOS devices. It's not running Android Wear, so it'll likely be a heavily skinned version of Google's OS. Still, watches that work between both major mobile operating systems aren't exactly numerous, so a new option is worth paying attention to.
We're still waiting to see a working product
That's assuming it gets out to consumers soon, but unfortunately there's no launch timeframe yet. Blocks is going to start an as-yet unspecified crowdfunding campaign this summer, but how long it'll be between that and launch remains to be seen. Back at CES, the company said it would launch on Kickstarter in June with an eye towards shipping before the end of the year — if it can launch its crowdfunding campaign this summer it won't be too far off that first mark.