OnQ Blog

Blocks modular smartwatch brings customizability to wrist-worn wearables

Jun 18, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Blocks Wearables, a team of UK-based engineers and designers, is bringing modular design to smartwatches. Interchangeable modules built into the watchband aim to add new customization and functionalities to wrist wearables.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, the smartwatch will run a custom version of Android Lollipop, which supports both Android and iOS smartphones. The first Blocks watch face will use a circular color touchscreen that includes the processor, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a motion sensor, a microphone, and the main battery. This main module will handle most tasks: delivering notifications, handling voice commands, and tracking activity. The company plans to offer two other watch faces after launch with both square and rectangular screens.

Here’s where things get interesting: users can customize the Blocks Modular Smartwatch to a degree not possible with other models, thanks to its modularity. That comes in the form of interchangeable electronics that are built into the links of the wristband and connected via flexible circuits. The modules, which can be swapped in and out without powering off the watch, add extra features, including GPS location services, NFC for contactless payments, and cellular connectivity—all with the support of the Snapdragon processor. Battery life and memory can be extended easily just by adding the right modules. One day your Blocks smartwatch can focus on fitness tracking; the next day, it could transform into a workplace helper.

Even with all the added functionality and customization made possible by modular design, the Blocks smartwatch doesn’t skimp on style. The company has partnered with UK jewelry maker Tateossian to make removable shells for each module, allowing owners to personalize the look of their smartwatches with various materials, textures, and colors.

The Blocks Modular Smartwatch is expected to be sold initially via an unspecified crowdfunding campaign later this summer. If this sounds like the kind of wearable you’ve been waiting for, you can provide your email address at the top of the front page of the Blocks Wearables website and reserve an early-bird discount.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Jim Merrick

Marketing Director, IoT

©2022 Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its affiliated companies.

References to "Qualcomm" may mean Qualcomm Incorporated, or subsidiaries or business units within the Qualcomm corporate structure, as applicable.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses. Qualcomm products referenced on this page are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Materials that are as of a specific date, including but not limited to press releases, presentations, blog posts and webcasts, may have been superseded by subsequent events or disclosures.

Nothing in these materials is an offer to sell any of the components or devices referenced herein.