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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.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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