Technology and electronics have come such a long way that it’s already possible to build basic computers as easy as you would LEGO structures. But how about the parts that attach to that computer? Not so much. Once again, Kano is trying bring that DIY plus LEGO culture to kids and the young at heart by trying to crowdfund three kits that separately form a camera, a Bluetooth speaker, and a pixel grid display. Together, especially with the sensors the ship with, they form together hours of educational fun.
It’s been nearly three years since Kano first went public with its idea to make available a DIY computer that allowed anyone, children most especially, to build their own functional computers from ready-made pieces. It combined the ideas already well-known in the DIY and maker culture but packaged it in easy to use and kid-friendly parts. Now Kano is trying again with a different set of devices. And no, it’s not a smartphone, unfortunately.
There are three kits available in this Kickstarter round, a Camera Kit, a Pixel Kit, and a Speaker Kit, each forming what their names say, building functional and standalone pieces of equipment that can become part of a larger project. And, like the Kano computer, the process of building the devices are just as important as the final product.
But lest you think that’s all these kits are about, Kano is throwing in additional pieces in each kit to spice things up. These come in the form of sensors tie in nicely with their kits. For example, the camera kit comes with a tripwire sensor while the pixel display has a tilt sensor. The speaker kit comes with a sensor and a half, which is a gesture sensor as well as a drumpad. And the fun doesn’t end there either. You can mix and match sensors with other kits and, if you have all three kits, even plug in all three sensors into one kit. As all kits are programmable, the sky’s the limit in what you can accomplish with these kits.
Each kit costs $99 but getting three in one go will cost only $249. To be clear, this is still on Kickstarter with a funding goal of $500,000. Should Kano successfully get it funded, the kits will start shipping in July next year.