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."
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 doorbell that texts your phone!
A cat food dispenser!
An animatronic hand that makes you coffee when it hears your alarm.
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.
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.
And while littleBits has raised over $60 million dollars in venture capital investment, Bdeir's product isn't ALL about the Benjamins.
"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.
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.
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.