BLOCKS has little to do with blocks of anything and more to do with the modular technology industry that Google brought attention to when it gobbled up Project Ara. BLOCKS is a new campaign launched on Kickstarter a few days ago and aside from already surpassing its goal by a wide margin, the campaign is also a milestone in modular development. Project Ara is all about creating a modular smartphone, but BLOCKS is about using modular technology in more areas of development. The small start-up is starting off with a wearable device aka a smartwatch. The BLOCKS smartwatch is the first modular smartwatch in the world and is already creating quite the stir on the crowdfunding page.
BLOCKS wearables is the company behind the BLOCKS smartwatch and its main aim is to bring modular technology into the eye of the public. While Project Ara’s final form is nowhere to be seen yet, with a release date anticipated for next year, BLOCKS wearables has a good shot at becoming the next big company in IoT. While they did not announce other products, the BLOCKS smartwatch seems to be exciting enough for now.
After the BLOCKS Kickstarter went live, in a matter of hours it surpassed its initial funding goal of $250,000 only to have raised more than $560,000 at the time of this writing, with 2000 backers already interested in the device. According to the project campaign, the BLOCKS smartwatch should be ready to ship by November, so backers don’t even have to wait too long to get their hands on a unique piece of technology nobody has ever worked with.
The BLOCKS smartwatch was first introduced and demoed at CES, with the company promising the crowdfunding campaign to go online in the Summer. Manufacturing and design challenges have caused a bit of a delay, but luckily the wearable is now freely available through Kickstarter. You can get one of these smartwatches for pledging $195, and that includes the core device as well as a strap. The fun part is that later on, you can add more blocks to the strap of the device and each block will contain new hardware that will add features to the wearable.
The BLOCKS watch is comprised of two main parts: the core and the strap. The core can be interpreted as an entire smartwatch because it houses the main features that every wearable device has these days, such as the touchscreen display, the CPU, RAM, storage and fitness tracking. The strap is the more interesting part, because it can house up to 7 different modules. According to the company, developers will also be able to make modules of their own, aside from those that the company will be offering in the future.
These modules should be seen as small pieces of hardware. One module can contain a fingerprint sensor, another a SIM card slot, another a 4G LTE modem, another an extra battery, another a camera, another a heart rate monitor, another GPS, motions sensors, gesture sensors, NFC, payment module and the possibilities are infinite. The main idea behind the BLOCKS smartwatch is to allow customers to be able to create their own smartwatch according to their personal needs, instead of settling for devices that are made for the general population. It’s a personalized experience.
Go check out the BLOCKS smartwatch Kickstarter page to find out more about the company and their initiative. Choose your favorite reward tier and get in on the action, because everyone seems confident that this is the future of the smartwatch in its entirety. We’re curious to see how well the modules and the core will work together and how easy it will be to create the bridge between them. Overall, this step forward is one of the most important steps anyone has taken in the wearable industry so far.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Return to All-Time Low Price at Best Buy, Grab a Pair for $80 Today
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live may be the better option if earbuds with a stem design, like Apple’s AirPods, feel unpleasant or frequently fall out of your ears. These bean-shaped true wireless earbuds are among our top picks because of their cutting-edge design and excellent sound, which we found to be even better than the original AirPods Pro. And right now, Best Buy has the opportunity to get them for less than half the regular cost. Only today, you can save $70 and get a pair of Galaxy Buds Live for just $80, which matches the lowest price we’ve seen thus far.
One of the most affordable pairs of earbuds you’ll find in this price range is the Galaxy Buds Live, which retail for about $80. They have three microphones for active noise-cancellation, as well as a 12mm speaker that has been adjusted and improved for bass for rich, immersive sound. Although they still let in a good bit of background noise because of their open-ear design.
The Buds Live feature an IPX2 water-resistance rating, making them safe to use during workouts and resistant to sweat and splashing, but you shouldn’t use them in the rain. They can operate for up to 29 hours on a single charge, including top-ups from the charging case, which doubles as a wireless charger for your phone. There are smaller reductions on other colors as well, but this offer is only valid on the white and black color options.
Read more in the 2020 Galaxy Buds Live review by David Carnoy. He gave them an 8.2 out of 10 and stated, “They’re quite unique-looking, inconspicuous, and not only do they fit securely, but they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time.”
In the upcoming fall, Sony’s wireless earbuds will support multipoint connections
Sony is not just using environmentally friendly materials to upgrade its wireless earbuds. Now, the business claims that multipoint audio functionality will be added to its LinkBuds, LinkBuds S, and WF-1000XM4 models this fall. This allows you to switch between the audio on two Bluetooth devices, just as other competing earbuds. For instance, while watching a video on your tablet, you can switch to a call on your phone.
Sony’s Headphones Connect app offers fresh firmware that is necessary for the enhancement. The multipoint update for the LinkBuds family should be available by November, while the WF-1000XM4 should follow suit this winter.
The WF-1000XM4 upgrade is fairly unexpected, as The Verge noted. Midway through 2021, when Sony first began to market that device, it had not even hinted at a multipoint update. The news won’t help you much if you have cheap headphones like the WF-C500, but at least you won’t feel left out if you spent a lot on wireless audio last year.
Sony now has a competitive advantage over some of its rivals, at least. While competitors like Apple’s AirPods offer smooth audio switching, you’re typically constrained to a single brand’s environment. If you don’t want to be restricted to specific platforms or goods merely to avoid slogging through Bluetooth device menus, Sony’s multipoint functionality might make more sense.
At $250, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 reaches a new low.
If you’ve had your eye on the brand-new Galaxy Watch 5 from Samsung but were awaiting a discount, one is now available. The 40mm model in three hues (Grey, Pink Gold, and Silver) is available for $250 on Amazon’s Woot site, saving you $30 or 11% off the list price.
In our previous review, the Galaxy Watch 5 received a strong 85 points, and we once again dubbed it “the greatest non-Apple smartwatch.” Over the Watch 4, Samsung concentrated more on improving it, giving it a longer battery life (up to 80 hours), stronger Sapphire Crystal glass, and an inactive temperature sensor.
The design and features are otherwise unchanged, which is a good thing. With a touch-sensitive ring surrounding the screen and a snappy 5-nanometer Exynos processor, it runs Wear OS and employs Samsung’s bezel-based navigation. This offers you access to a variety of apps, sleep tracking and coaching, health and fitness tracking, and countless other features. The body-impedance analysis tool allows you to take ECG scans, reply to messages, control music playing, and more. It also allows you to acquire a reading of your body composition.
The sensors are kept in contact with your wrist by the slightly curved underside, which is rated IP68, 5ATM, and MIL-STD-810H for durability (water, dust and pressure resistance). The biggest drawback is that, in comparison to the Apple Watch 7, battery life is significantly reduced with the always-on display. Even so, it’s the greatest Android smartwatch currently on the market, and discounts on such a brand-new product are uncommon. Remember that Woot’s offers have a shorter expiration date and a different return policy than its parent company, Amazon.
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