LittleBits, a New York-based startup, has developed kits that allow people to build quite sophisticated electronic models and units without the usual soldering, wiring, or programming.
LittleBits has been dubbed by its maker, “LEGOs for the iPad generation.” It allows anyone with an interest to construct an electronic circuit or device—a small windmill, car, or even a robot—by combining or swapping the small circuit blocks.
The product moves electronic design “from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers, students and designers,” states the company website. Every LittleBits kit comes with multiple modules. Each module performs a specific function—for examples, it could be a sensor, sound or lighting hardware, buttons, a motor, et cetera.
Users snap the magnetized modules to each other to create an electronic prototype and circuit. It has an open-source library for users to follow design tips.
The startup has won multiple awards, including Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Technology Products 2013 and Educator’s Choice Award 2013. Recently, it has taken the concept further by working out a B2B platform for hardware innovation.
Recent innovations from LittleBits to Phonebloks to 3D printers are all seeking to include the end-user in the manufacturing process, making every component or device perfectly customized.