The smartwatch arena is about to welcome a potentially exciting newcomer. Blocks, which currently has 34 more days of funding to go on its Kickstarter page, bids to become the world’s first modular smartwatch.
The watchface acts as the core and is fully functional on its own and has all the features you would expect from a smartwatch, such as phone notifications, activity tracking and voice control, and comes with a full round colour touch screen.
However, the really exciting innovation is the strap. It is made of several links, or Modules, each of which have their own functions. The user can choose the Modules he or she want and connect them together to build a smartwatch unique to them.
As part of its initial modules, Blocks will offer a heart rate module, extra battery modules, GPS module and of course in order to appeal to as many people as possible, NFC payments module.
The company said it is already working with partners in the US and UK to integrate contactless payments into the watch.
The watch will be compatible with both iPhones and Android smartphones.
As an open platform, the company allows any company or individual to develop Modules and the company says it has already partnered with major technology companies to develop our Modules and have over 1,500 individual developers signed up to work on its platform.
The interest in a payments enabled smartwatch is clearly extraordinarily high as campaign only started on October 13, but passed the $250,000 goal in 56 minutes. With 34 days still to go, the company has already raised over three-quarters of a million dollars.
The smartwatch is the second high-profile payments wearable to be launched on Kickstarter in recent times. Earlier this month, Kerv, the NFC payment ring surpassed its £77,000 target, and with ten days to go it has raised over £85,500.
Mastercard partners with Apple on Apple Pay’s Spain launch and rolls out selfie payments in Latin America
The American tech giant has launched its mobile payment service, Apple Pay, in Spain, partnering with Mastercard, Carrefour and American Express.
Payment terminals have stayed the same over the last 10 years, with steady advances in contactless and mobile wallet transactions. Retailers and brands are making a conscious effort to get closer to consumers.
ING has announced that it is scrapping Twyp, its peer-to-peer payments app, in the Netherlands following negative feedback from its customers.
Stripe, the biggest fintech company in the US, is about to consolidate its position at the top by almost doubling its valuation to $9.2 billion following Series D funding.