I love Kickstarter. My wallet, though, does not like Kickstarter at all. Here’s why—a new product on Kickstarter that has caught my eye: the Mover Kit. Wearable tech for kids; with a huge range of possibilities to code, create, and encourage kids to do more. It’s fairly simple in appearance but like any child’s imagination—it’s the potential within which is amazing!
The Kickstarter project launched only last week and is proving very popular as they’ve already hit their target. The ‘Super Early Bird’ offer has sold out, but the Early Bird offer is still available: for a $55 pledge, you receive the Mover Kit and free access to the Make Platform for coding your device (Free International Shipping included).
New to Kickstarter? Read our crowdfunding primer here.
You can find most of the basic information on the Kickstarter page:
- Kids build the casing and electronics straight from the box
- Comes with a ‘slap-band’ and lanyard, making it totally wearable
- Product itself contains LED lights, compass, and motion sensor—providing multiple combinations for programming
Speaking of programming; The Mover Kit comes with access to the Make platform for coding the kit to do … well, pretty much anything. The Make platform uses the same click-and-drag style as Scratch and Blockly. Kids can dive right in and start coding the arc reactor, sorry, kit—seriously, though, this looks like Iron Man’s arc reactor.
My kids are fairly familiar with the Scratch phenomenon and find the whole programming experience there easy to use. The part to love about web-based platforms is that I don’t have to choke my computer with yet another program to install. The Make platform is web-based with a bunch of helpdesk people available, aimed at assisting kids. All you need to do is plug the device into the computer and download your code straight into the device. Easy.
I’m really interested in the combination of coding and physical creation around the kit. It’s a simple device: A slap-band with a bunch of flashing lights. The lights are purely reactive—the lights will do something when you do something. And this is where my interest was piqued.
There are no rules to using the Mover Kit. Which means it’s a clean slate for your kids’ imagination. If they want to use it as a light show, they can program the elements of the light show themselves. It could be just a reactive, flashy torch on their bike (did someone say, pimp my ride?), or a light saber, or a night light.
The second key feature is the motion sensor. Now kids can start thinking about what they can do to cause the light show: when the light saber swings, the motion sensor picks up the action and starts flashing in a different color; as a rudimentary pedometer, the lights change after registering so many seconds of active movement.
The third and final key feature is the compass. Even though it is not a GPS, it is still able to register some larger movements outside. One of the ideas I loved from the video was the Obstacle Course. Kids came up with a number of events to complete with the Mover Kit, making it a fun group activity. This is the icing. It is no longer a light show or a lesson in cause-and-effect; it is something they can take with them and change how they see the space around them. Kids can interact with their immediate environment via their programming. Adults may just see a light-toy; kids see a whole world to create and conquer.
There are still 20 or so days left on this project, with delivery due in October 2016. Once the kits are delivered, come back here to share your ideas! I can’t wait to see what your kids come up with!