Yesterday Kano, a London start-up that raised $1.5 million in its Kickstarter goal to raise $100,000, started marketing their new DIY computer kit. Kano is setting out to be the Lego of computers with a very colorful and safe assortment of computer parts to teach kids and hopefully some adults, what makes a computer by having them build it themselves.
Starting with a Raspberry Pi board (or the mind, as Kano calls it) kids are able to snap together parts that click into place in a transparent case. An SD card, Wi-Fi dongle, speaker, keyboard receiver and HDMI cables are all a pieces of the final product. It may not really be ‘building a PC’, but it will give kids a fair understanding of the basic workings of a computer as opposed to just jumping onto the Internet with this ‘magic’ machine that has always been there, but no one understands the inner workings of. The idea is to show that someone’s ideas and creativity went into making the device that gives us all instant communication and access.
Once all of the parts are connected, Kano has a number of apps to explore including games like Pong, Minecraft and Snake. An illustrated booklet is included, similar to the Lego booklets. Once in the game, you can modify certain things like changing the color of the paddles and the speed of the ball, editing the size of the board, etc. You’re awarded points, badges and swag for completing tasks, all geared toward being creative and causing you to think.
Kano comes with an orange keyboard with a built in trackpad. Included is Chromium for Web browsing, a video player for browsing YouTube and SD files, a basic text editor, a painting app and a calculator. In the Kano World Marketplace you can download other games and productivity apps. The price is $150, which might seem a bit much until we think about what the kids are learning.
With Raspberry Pi being the low powered hardware that it is, things will slow down in heavy use, but the idea of teaching and understanding is still there. It won’t be a power user experience, but it will teach some basics about computers and, hopefully, creativity. I think this is a good way to start teaching how things work and kudos to Kano (hey, I like that) for their new product.
Source: The Next Web