Most wearable devices are designed for adults. A fitness band for tracking your steps? A smartwatch for showing new text messages, tweets and upcoming calendar events? None of that sounds very appealing to a young child, but one new gadget promises to grab your kid’s attention and casually teach them to code at the same time.
Mover Kit is a clever new wearable from Tech Will Save Us, a techie toy-maker based in London. It’s available now on Kickstarter for as little as $45.
Mover Kit is a pretty simple gadget. It comes totally unassembled, with a round circuit board and a second disc covered in LED lights. Slapped together in a transparent plastic case with a rechargeable battery it transforms into a motion-powered light that changes color depending on how you move it.
A simple accelerometer lies at the heart of Mover Kit. It’s the same sensor that comes packed into most mobile devices, but here it takes center stage. “No one really talks about accelerometers,” company co-founder Bethany Koby told TechnoBuffalo. “But They’re quite important. They’re super cool.”
To make Mover Kit light up all you need to do is shake it and a ring of white LEDs will switch on. Shake it harder and different colors will kick in. Move fast enough and you can unlock a rainbow pattern. “Rainbow mode is awesome,” Koby told me as she vigorously shook the small gadget.
Mover Kit also comes with a slap bracelet and a lanyard so you can attach the device to pretty much anything. It can sit on your wrist or act as a bike light. One early child tester even used it as the Arc Reactor in a homemade Iron Man costume. How very Tony Stark.
The other side of this project is the software, which lets you program different commands using a simple block-based visual language. Using a desktop app you can set it to blink when you spin around, blink in a rotating pattern when you moonwalk. The only limits are your own imagination (and the range of motions the accelerometer can recognize).
You can pre-order Mover Kit for just $45 and receive it in October. Once that super early bird deal runs out the price will jump up to $65 with a November shipping date. You can also grab two for $130 and have the second unit delivered to a different location for no extra cost.
Tech Will Save Us already offers a few other products, including an electric dough kit and DIY speakers. But this is its first official Kickstarter project, and Koby says she’s ready to put her faith in the crowd-funding community.
“It’s not just about the money,” she said. “Money is a representation of people believing in it.”