Blocks modular smartwatch raises $1.6m on Kickstarter

Plus details of AT&T, EE, fingerprint and heart rate modules
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Blocks Wearables has raised $1.6m during its modular smartwatch Kickstarter campaign, which is now closed.

A total of 5,063 people pledged $1,613,874 in total which means that it makes the top 15 technology Kickstarters list. Blocks is also now available to pre-order starting at $295 and shipping in June 2016.

The team posted this update: "Thanks to your phenomenal support we passed 5,000 backers, $1,600,000 in pledges, and built an amazing community! Blocks is all about giving the power of choice back to the users. With that, we would like you to be involved in the next steps of Blocks development. Soon, we will be sending a survey to ask some important questions. Do continue to ask us questions and give your insightful ideas here and via our social media channels."

New Blocks modules

Recently, Blocks backers got some exciting news. The modular smartwatch will work away from your smartphone with optional cellular modules that connect to AT&T's network in the US and EE in the UK.

It's not clear whether this will mean users have to fork out for another data contract yet but it's a much teased feature that is sure to get Blocks some more attention both sides of the pond. Expect more details in the next few months. Smartwatches such as the 3G Samsung Gear S2 aren't getting global releases so Blocks could swoop in and steal some sales from rivals.

Read this: The best Apple Watch alternatives for iOS

Blocks also announced a fingerprint module, for ID and payments, with tech from BioConnect Entertech Systems as well as an optical heart rate sensor built by Pixart Imaging.

Earlier this week, Blocks revealed new plans to allow users to fully customise and 3D print their own shells of the swappable modules as well as designer shells from British jewellery and accessory label Tateossian.

Look out for our hands on with the latest prototype very soon.

TAGGED Smartwatches

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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