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Anyone could become an engineer with her tiny, simple set of tools. Meet littleBits.

"Our designs are publicly available so that anyone can see, use, and adapt them to their needs."

Anyone could become an engineer with her tiny, simple set of tools. Meet littleBits.
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Humans are spending increasingly more time (approximately 11 hours a day!) with electronics.

But do humans spend much time making electronics ?

With littleBits, they just might.


Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits. They’re a new breed of building blocks — ones powered by electronics, that snap together with magnets, bleep, blink, and move!

And these blocks aren’t just for fun; they make engineering possible for anyone.

Using littleBits, you can make (without any engineering training):

A clapper!

What a classic! GIF via littleBits on YouTube.

A doorbell that texts your phone!

I could really use this with my UPS delivery person! GIF via littleBits on YouTube.

A cat food dispenser!

Whoa. GIF via littleBits on YouTube.

An animatronic hand that makes you coffee when it hears your alarm.


GIF via littleBits on YouTube.

So, how'd we get here?

Well, Bdeir's career and education (she's an MIT-trained engineer) have always been all about making education, technology, and innovation more accessible.

As told to Bloomberg Business on YouTube.

Her business, littleBits, is the result of that.

In 2008, Bdeir applied and was accepted to the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York City. It was through this program that she developed her first prototype for littleBits.

Fast forward a few years to 2011 — through fellowships, professorships, and many, many talks in front of many many people — she created and sold the first littleBits starter kit.

And while littleBits has raised over $60 million dollars in venture capital investment, Bdeir's product isn't ALL about the Benjamins.

It's also all about the sharing, according to their mission:

"Our designs are publicly available so that anyone can see, use and adapt them to their needs."

Bdeir is a proponent of open hardware, which means the designs and plans of littleBits are completely public online.

As told to Bloomberg Business on YouTube. Image via Muse Fablab/Flickr Commons.

Wanna make that cat-feeder iPhone app? You can! You can find instructions for SO MANY projects on the littleBits website. And just recently, the company announced it will host a FREE online summer camp to their 60,000-plus Facebook fans. The team at littleBits also posts new inventions to their Facebook page in GIF form weekly and encourages littleBits owners from around the world to share their inventions, too.

The community of folks inventing with littleBits is global. They upload their own projects. They have monthly challenges. LittleBits even runs monthly calls on the last Wednesday of every month where inventors and experts hang out!

Bdeir and the littleBits team have made teaching tools that educate anyone on how to be an engineer.

Katia invented a skyscraper that's also a lighthouse! GIF via littleBits on YouTube.


As told to Bloomberg Business on YouTube. GIF via Bloomberg Business YouTube.

What's cool about the simplicity of littleBits is they make the possible visible. And doable. And fun.

People from around the world are working together to create new possibilities and new inventions. The possibilities are as endless as the human mind.

Kinda makes me feel hopeful for us Earthlings.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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