As the tech industry patiently the awaits the release of the Apple Watch – and more importantly, how the public responds to it – a rise of quieter smartwatch concepts have been coming out of the woodwork that may give the Cupertino company a sharp jab in the smartwatch gut.

With interest surrounding some yet-to-be-released modular smartphone concepts such as Google’s Project Ara, the conversation turns from simply owning a smart device to having the option of creating a fully-customizable smart device specific to one’s needs (and we’re not just talking about your favorite apps).

As a large majority of products become increasingly more ‘hackable’ or able to be designed around a user’s design considerations, telling one’s own story through a specific design of said product isn’t so much of a luxury anymore; it’s become a new standard for some.

Apple has addressed this with their own controlled outcome by offering a rather robust CMF (Colors, Materials and Finishes) offering for their highly-anticipated watch (including various points of cost of entry), which for a lot of potential users, just might be enough. However for those looking for more options, the concept behind BLOCKS looks to be a compelling one depending on how the final quality of the design ends up (as we’ve seen before, only having renderings when announcing a product does very little to prove anything).


Consisting of a fully-modular design platform that features components ranging from display configurations and cameras to battery sizes and sensors, the BLOCKS Smartwatch concept aims to give consumers full-control of their smartwatch design and experience with a simple plug-and-play system that makes use of daisy-chained individual smart watch links.

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While the concept was publicly announced in October of 2014, it only recently started to generate attention after an appearance last week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) in Las Vegas. As a part of the “Make it Wearable” competition hosted by Intel, Blocks Wearables showed off their early BLOCKS Smartwatch prototypes to thousands of curious onlookers (a step up from only having renderings, at least).

While the concept means well, does it make more sense to create a customizable platform within an existing watch design rather than putting too much thinking onto the end user? Or is this a possible glimpse of the future of smart wearables?


Either way, BLOCKS is planning on launching their finished concept in June on Kickstarter. In a day and age where a blender/cooler hybrid is the top-funded project of all-time on the popular crowdfunding platform, sometimes it’s the wackiest of ideas that might not make sense at first glance, but ultimately end up selling the most.

Check out more over at BLOCKS.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.