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littleBits – Now Anyone Can Make Gadgets, No Engineering Background Required [video]

by Adriana Lee | April 17, 2012April 17, 2012 6:30 pm PDT

This is easily one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time.

Did you know that you don’t need an engineering background to manipulate hardware or create simple gadgets? If components were simply pre-fab building blocks that snap together — like an electronic equivalent of Legos — then you wouldn’t need classes in circuit design or soldering experience.

That’s what Ayah Bdeir conceived with “littleBits.” The set of blocks are color-coded according to function, and they magnetically attach to each other, turning once-esoteric feats of engineering and programming into a crazy simple process that even children can use to play and create. In the hands of artists with no background in engineering, littleBits transform into devices with audio, lights and even gesture control, all housed in whatever casing they design.

The educational potential of this is huge. And the creative aspects seem limitless. This endeavor turns circuits and functions into a building material that absolutely anyone can use.

Words just can’t do this justice, so click play on the TED vid to see it in action. Then let us know: What would you create using littleBits?

[Thanks, Knucklebucket!]

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...