Building Electronics is Getting Easier with the Open Hardware Revolution Building Electronics is Getting Easier with the Open Hardware Revolution
Technology

Building Electronics is Getting Easier with the Open Hardware Revolution

by Ayah Bdeir

January 11, 2014

Play around and experiment because it's empowering.

littleBits can be used by children too. There are many videos that have been sent to us featuring younger users’ designs. The feeling never fails: we see their faces light up when they snap the first two modules together as they realize what they can do. It makes me want to let these children's creativity take center stage.

I have witnessed children that, at first, say, “I’m not into this. I don’t understand. I don’t know what I’m doing.” We have also heard adults say things like, “I’m not a techie. I’m not creative.” But after the begin to work with littleBits, that feeling passes. They feel that they can jump in and do anything. Suddenly, their attitude changes to that of possibility: “Can I do this? Can I do that? Oh, what if I do this?” From these tiny components, we have seen people make a simple robot, an interactive art display, a "sibling alarm," a toy pet that wags its tail, and a functional object for their school. We have even seen adults use it for prototyping their concepts. The user has an idea for a hardware product, and they use littleBits as a prototyping tool. littleBits itself is really not the point. It becomes what you make of it.

What would you like to see made possible in the field of open-source hardware?

Ayah Bdeir is the founder of littleBits, which has won more than 20 toy, tech, parenting, and maker awards, and was recently added to the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. Bdeir herself is also a TED Senior Fellow and the Co-Founder of the Open Hardware Summit.

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Building Electronics is Getting Easier with the Open Hardware Revolution