Lego looks to get kids interested in coding with the new Lego Boost

They’ve inspired generations of children to become architects and engineers, and now, Lego is taking its educational prowess to a new industry: Tech. Meet Lego Boost, described as a “supercharged building and coding set that lets children bring their Lego creations to life by adding movement, sound, and personality.” Hoping to encourage children to not only build structures, but add some digital pizzazz as well, Lego Boost may just be the toy of choice for Christmas 2017.

Lego Boost takes its familiar blocks and combines them with a variety of movement and sound capabilities powered by an easy-to-use, app-based coding environment designed for children. The free app contains instructions, guidelines, and tutorials on simple coding commands that allows players to bring their creations to life. Indeed, building in the app mirrors building in the physical realm — children must link digital coding blocks in a horizontal layout, much as they would link Legos. And Boost will even let kids add their own voice recordings to their finished products. By exposing youngsters to the world of technology at an earlier age, Lego hopes to inspire interest and expertise later in life.

“We know that children dream of bringing their Lego creations to life, and our chief ambition for Lego Boost is to fulfill that wish. Once children build a Lego creation, we give them simple coding tools to ‘boost’ their models by adding personality,” said Simon Kent, design lead for the Lego Group. “We want children to first and foremost have a fun and limitless play experience; adding the coding opportunity is the means to get there.”

The creative toy set is slated for release in the second half of 2017, and will retail at $160. Included in the kit will be the Lego Move Hub (a Lego stud-covered brick with built-in tilt sensor upon which children can add blocks), a combination color and distance sensor, and an interactive motor.