Remember the Blocks modular smartwatch? This device was first announced at CES 2015 and hit Kickstarter later that year. Fast-forward four years and the Blocks smartwatch is back in the news, and unfortunately it's not good.
The Blocks modular smartwatch project has shut down. BLOCKS Wearables, the company behind the watch, explains (via Reddit) that it's been forced to end the project after having issues with its hardware and software partners and then failing to find an industrial partner to help it raise more funding.
BLOCKS Wearables says that it actually made 500 Blocks smartwatches and sent them to backers at the end of 2017. The project was struggling due to costs and the loss of a previous manufacturer and software partner, and BLOCKS Wearables then worked to find an industrial partner to deploy smartwatches to works and get the company some more cash. None of those partners worked out, though, and BLOCKS says that as it was preparing to ship out more watches, it was told that a fire destroyed most of its backup stock.
Now that the project is shutting down, a company is reaching out to Kickstarter backers to take care of the disbursement of remaining assets.
The Blocks smartwatch was meant to be modular, letting you swap in different parts to fit your needs in any given situation. It was expected that the Blocks watch modules would include an extra battery, a heart rate sensor, a GPS module, an NFC module for payments, and an adventure module that included altitude, pressure, and temperature sensors.
It's never good to learn that a company is killing a project, but it's especially disappointing in cases like this one where people spent $200 or more to back a device before its launch. Of course, that's a risk you take with any crowdfunded project.