It’s been a long road to market for Blocks, a modular smartwatch that was first announced back in 2015, but at CES 2018 the company has said that it’s finally selling watches to the general public (via TechCrunch).
To recap, Blocks was first announced three years ago at CES 2015, as a very early prototype that first floated the idea of a modular smartwatch. Blocks hit Kickstarter in October 2015, promising to ship by May 2016 to backers. It didn’t ship then, but the company opened up preorders to new customers anyway in June 2016 with shipments meant to arrive later that year in October. Blocks missed that window, too, only starting to ship the first batches of finalized devices to Kickstarter backers in September 2017. But now, it seems like Blocks has finally figured it all out, and is putting the device up for anyone to order.
The finished version of the watch costs $259 for the Core base unit. But the appeal of Blocks comes in the optional modular links that users can add to the band, adding features like an environmental sensor (to monitor temperature, air pressure, and humidity), extra batteries, a GPS module, a heart rate sensor, or an LED flashlight to their watches. There are six different modules available at launch, each costing $35 on top of the price you’ll pay for the Blocks Core, but the company has plans for many more down the road.
Despite the announcement of general availability, Blocks isn’t offering an exact release window yet, only saying that the devices should ship sometime in Q1 2018. But after years of delays and missed dates, it’s better than nothing.