Blocks announces collaboration with Qualcomm


Blocks with circular display

Blocks with circular display

At Computex Taipei 2015, Pankaj Kedia, the head of Wearables at Qualcomm, revealed a collaboration with Blocks Wearables. Qualcomm is the world’s leading microprocessor provider in the smartphone and wearables market today.

The modular smartwatch will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor (quad-core ARM Cortex A7 CPUs) and will run the latest Android Lollipop OS. Blocks will be released in a crowdfunding campaign later this summer.

Circular prototype

Circular prototype

The first Blocks watch face will use a circular colour touchscreen, this “core module” will include processor, Bluetooth, WiFi, motion sensor, microphone and the main battery. The core module will perform most functions of current smartwatches, such as notifications, activity tracking and voice commands.

Blocks chips

Blocks chips

The circular face will be available during the crowdfunding campaign, whereas other two screens will be available soon after shipping.

The modular architecture will allow to extend smartwatch functionality with a variety of hot swappable modules that can support location tracking, cellular connectivity, contactless payments and other sensors.

Module prototype

Module prototype

“The wearables market is in an incredibly exciting phase and will see a diverse range of forms and functionalities. Their one commonality is that all will require ultra-low power intelligence to ensure battery life is attractive to end users. Blocks’ modular approach is a great example of the creativity and innovation that is possible on the ARM architecture.” said Ian Ferguson, vice president, segment marketing, ARM.

Module prototype 2

Module prototype 2

Blocks will run a special version of Android Lollipop OS and it will compatible to both iOS and Android smartphones. Thanks to these optimizations, Blocks will have a longer battery life, a custom graphic for the circular display and the ability to hot-swap modules without having to power the device off.

Blocks versions

Blocks versions

Thanks to the partnership with Tateossian, a British jewellery and accessories brand, Blocks will have customisable removable shells for each module, allowing a mix of different colours, textures and materials.

Blocks has, also, signed a manufacturing deal with Compal, one the world’s largest manufacturers of laptops, smartphones and smartwatches.

 

The original article was posted on the Phonebloks Blog.