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Four years later, the BLOCKS modular smartwatch is officially canceled

What you need to know

  • BLOCKS modular smartwatch was discontinued on August 15 after a successful Kickstarter campaign that started back in 2015.
  • The unique smartwatch was canceled due to many hardships, such as losing its manufacturing and software partners.
  • The company is in the process of distributing its remaining assets.

After nearly four years, the ambitious modular smartwatch BLOCKS is calling it quits. The team posted an update on the Kickstarter campaign on August 15 informing backers of the untimely end.

The update is visible to backers only, and describes the journey which lead up to the product being discontinued, and informed backs that the company would be distributing its remaining assets. Luckily, we were able to get a look at the update thanks to Redditor jma9454. Among the many reasons for cancellation, the company cites losing its manufacturing and software partner, monetary losses, and a fire which destroyed stock.

Despite all the hardships, BLOCKS was still able to ship out some functioning units to backers in 2018, meaning it wasn't a complete failure. However, I'm sure that's of little solace to those of you out there who originally backed the project and got nothing in return.

Unfortunately, this ending is all too common among crowd-funding campaigns. Even the most promising of ideas, such as BLOCKS which raised $1.6 million from backers, can still run into issues that ultimately lead to a dead product.

It's too bad BLOCKS couldn't go the distance, because the idea of a modular smartwatch is quite intriguing. BLOCKS was going to offer something that no other wearable on the market has — a way to customize your smartwatch with new features after the fact. It would accomplish this by adding modules, such as environmental sensors, a flashlight, GPS, or even extra battery modules. This would have made your wearable customized specifically for you, giving you everything you wanted and nothing you didn't.

The BLOCKS smartwatch was also running on a customized version of Android, but as promising as it all was, perhaps it was just never meant to be. Not even Google, with all its money and resources, could make its modular phone, Project Ara, come to life.

In the meantime, if you're looking for a new smartwatch that looks as good as it performs, then check out the new Gen 5 Fossil Smartwatch (opens in new tab). In his review, our own Joe Maring called it "Wear OS at its finest."

  • Shocking. There needs to be more regulations on these kickstarters. To easy to just steal the loot.
  • The problem us, that kind of defeats the entire point. Also it sounds like that hasn't happened here.
  • Still can make regulations. Should just have to show that the money went to the project and not swimming pools and cars.
  • Hi, We're actually a legitimately backed company and are delivering this product in December.
  • Can't remember hearing about this... Seems like the kinda thing i would've been interested in, but wouldn't have backed.
  • You win some and you lose some. I honestly forgot I had backed this. When I got the email and saw the kickstarted update, I thought Peak Design had posted one about their tripod. Oh well, on to the next.