Blocks smashes Kickstarter campaign for build-your-own NFC smartwatch

BUILDING BLOCKS: A new smartwatch will let users add functions such as NFC payments

A UK startup raising funds on Kickstarter for a modular smartwatch has amassed pledges totalling more than double its US$250,000 target in just two days.

Blocks lets users add a choice of functions, including NFC payments, from a selection of different modules that link together to form the device’s strap. The NFC module would allow for payments, contactless communications and data transfer while another module fitted with a fingerprint sensor could be used for authenticating payments, unlocking a phone and opening compatible locks.

“We have started working with partners in the US and UK to implement contactless payments in Blocks to make paying for something as simple as a flick of the wrist,” the company says. “As an open platform, Blocks allows any company or individual to develop modules. There can be modules for gaming, sports, healthcare, workplace or even experimental ones for academic research.

“We have already partnered with major tech companies to develop more modules and have over 1,500 individual developers signed up. The SDK and Module Development Kit (MDK) will be available soon.”

“Blocks will be compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones,” the company adds. “It works with iOS 8 and above on iPhone 4s and above.

“It also works with all Android 4.0+ phones, including those from LG, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi and more. Starting at US$195, Blocks is competitively priced with any other Android-based smartwatch. You can add even more functionality to your Blocks watch and get four modules at prices starting from US$250.”

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions