Over the past few years, wearable tech has well and truly entered the mainstream market. First it was with health and fitness gadgets, like Fitbit and Jawbone, then the Pebble and the Apple Watch forced us all to take the idea of wearing teeny tiny computers on our writs way more seriously.
But today we want to celebrate the brands that aren’t quite on our mainstream radars just yet and are only in the initial funding or prototype phase. Because although we love our Jawbone bands and our Misfit accessories (and designs that actually consider women), we’re passionate about championing smaller offerings that could soon be as special as a piece of well-loved jewellery or as useful as our smartphones.
6) Blocks – build your own smartwatch
At first glance, Blocks may look like a regular smartwatch, but actually it does what a lot of other mainstream wearables aren’t really doing all that well at the moment — it allows you to choose the tech, the looks and the features that are right for you, giving you freedom and flexibility.
Sure, options like the Apple Watch allow you to pick sizes and straps, but Blocks allows you to pick more battery or an added LED, heart rate tracking or a fingerprint sensor, essentially giving you the chance to build your very own smartwatch with functionality to suit your lifestyle.
There are two key components: the core, which has all of the features you’d expect from a smartwatch, like notifications, activity tracking and voice control. Then there’s the module, which adds extra dimensions to your smartwatch – whether that’s haptic control, LEDs, heart rate, fingerprint, GPS and so much more.
The Blocks promo video provides some real world examples of what this might mean, from allowing you to pack an extra battery module when you’re out all day, to turning your Blocks watch into the ultimate fitness, health and stress tracking device. Using it for security and payments or adding in a gesture module to better control your connected home from your wrist.
Looks-wise, you’ve got a few different choices too, but we love the plain and simple style the most. It’s subtle, its circular face looks just like all of our favourite watches and it’s totally wearable. Admittedly, the face looks a little big, but nowhere near as huge as some other smartwatches on the market, like the original Moto 360.
Blocks is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter (it’ll run you about £200, depending on what you want) and has already smashed its goal. People like choice? Who knew.