If your child is constantly staring at a smartphone screen, LittleBits has a plan to help steer their eyes away. It involves a the new second-edition Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, Bluetooth, and oddly enough, a smartphone.
LittleBits is a startup that offers Lego-like building blocks for small-scale electric inventions — the company’s goal is to educate children and break down the barrier of entry by bringing electronic parts from “the hands of experts, to the hands of everyone.” Its several “kits” contain parts like a buzzer, a light sensor, a fan, an LED, and more.
The LittleBits Invent app offers instructions on how to construct specific inventions with these parts, but they’re not the only things you can build. In fact, anyone can upload their own inventions to the app.
Until now, the app has existed predominantly as a guidebook and a gateway to the LittleBits community. Now, with the release of Gizmos & Gadgets Kit 2nd Edition comes a Bluetooth Low Energy bit — this allows children to pair smartphones, allowing them to control inventions via the app.
The goal is to continue stimulating the brain and foster curiosity, and using a smartphone as a remote is one way the company hopes to snag interest. Once connected, users can control inventions with a tilt, tap of the smartphone, or a shake. That could mean building a Wireless Rover and using a smartphone to steer.
The second-edition kit comes with 13 bits, instructions for 16 inventions, and other accessories and tools. It costs $200 and is available on LittleBits.com, and at various other retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and select Macy’s and Target stores.