There's ten days left to go for Blocks Wearables' Kickstarter campaign for its modular smartwatch. The London-based team has already raised over $1.3 million from 4,000+ backers, smashing its modest $250,000 goal. But the stretch goals and new announcements keep on coming.
First up, Blocks has announced that as well as open hardware, it now has an open design for the shells which cover each module. It doesn't look like the finish and feel of the core module is up for grabs but Blocks is encouraging companies and future Blocks owners to design and produce their own shells.
Read this: The story of Blocks so far
The shells can apparently be embedded with precious stones and even made from carved wood and Blocks will provide the CAD files for 3D printing.
So that there are options in time for shipping in May 2016, Blocks has partnered with jewellery and accessory brand Tateossian to offer luxury shells which will be available "in a couple of months". The range is set to include different materials, colours and textures. We're not sure which materials are planned yet but we'll add more details when we get them. Backers will be given the opportunity to upgrade their starter smartwatch's shells with these.
Essentially this is great news for anyone who loves the concept of a modular smartwatch but wasn't overly enamoured by the first press pics of the all grey, clearly masculine device.
The second confirmed announcement is the metallic coating which was the $1.2m stretch goal. The smartwatch will be coated in non-conductive vacuum metallizing (NCVM) and is designed to give the polycarbonate device a more premium look and feel without interfering with GPS or NFC antennas. The metallic finish is available for $12 more for the core module and $5 for each additional module.
Once the campaign crossed the $1 million mark, it was also announced that the display will be coated in Gorilla Glass to bring it up to scratch - literally - with rival devices.
And Blocks has one more tease. If the startup can make it over the $1.5 million line in the next ten days, all backers will be upgraded - for free - to an AMOLED display. We're sure that anyone who has backed Blocks so far will be hoping they get there (for obvious reasons, a stunning, lower power display if the Gear S2 is anything to go by) and Blocks is even offering free modules if you spread the word and family or friends end up backing the project from your link.
If you are an early Blocks backer, make sure to keep an eye on the campaign updates for the next ten days as we could also see some module partner announcements on the electronics side.
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