Modularity could make as much sense in smartwatches as it does in Google’s Project Ara smartphone, as it would enable people to use only the bits they’re really interested in.
The idea behind the Blocks modular smartwatch is pretty simple: you should be allowed to buy only the modules that you find useful, without paying extra money for the bells and whistles smartwatch manufacturers typically throw in the bundle.
It definitely looks like the world is going back to barebones that can be customized according to the taste and needs of each of us. That’s simply great, as we can create unique combinations of modules that are particular to every individual, and secondly, we no longer have to break the bank when buying a smartwatch or any piece of wearable tech, for that matter.
Needs change in time, and not only because new devices (or in this case new modules) hit the market, but also because humans feel the need to evolve (at least some of us do). Whenever this happens, the owners of a Blocks modular smartwatch would be able to swap their older modules for the newer and better ones, in order to be harder, better, faster, stronger, of course!
In the case of modular smartphones, the modules are found on the back of the device. Taking such an approach would be impossible in the case of smartwatches, so the Blocks timepiece will feature modules in the form of wristband links. This would practically enable people to attach all sorts of sensors (GPS, heartbeat sensors, accelerometers, etc.), cameras, microphones, audio jacks, speakers, and anything else you could think of. If you can’t afford or simply don’t need more than a few modules, you can complete the wristband using dummy blocks. Anyway, this concept could easily open the way for a world of customizations.
The launch date of the Blocks smartwatch is currently unknown, and is only estimated to be sometime in 2015. The price is yet another aspect that hasn’t been disclosed, but the basic package, which includes the display, the CPU and the battery, shouldn’t be more expensive than the $150 Pebble. Rumor has it that Google is going to sell the basic package of Project Ara for $50, so a barebone smartwatch costing three times as much is a bit unrealistic, I would say.