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Brief Published: 13 Oct 2016

Tangible Coding: Kano Computer Kits


Kano, the maker of the first self-build computer for kids (the most crowdfunded learning invention ever) has launched three new modular kits in collaboration with British creative agency Map.

Like Lego, each device is assembled from blocks and can be customised. Aiming to demystify technology, Kano uses transparent plastic parts, illustrated storybooks with building instructions and game mechanics to teach coding.

  • Camera Kit: This 5-megapixel kit teaches the foundations of photography by showing how to use focus and light. Features range from personalised filters, a customised ring flash and triggered photo snapping with Tripwire Sensor.
  • Pixel Kit: Essentially an interactive display board, the pixel kit shows live data by means of pixelated lights. The board can be customised through coding to visualise nearly anything, from messages to weather, music and animation. The kit also comes with a Tilt Sensor that allows visuals to be controlled with physical movement.
  • Speaker Kit: Not merely a speaker but also a synthesiser, this kit can transform into an all-round electronic music device. It becomes an instrument by adding a Drumpad, while a Gesture Sensor enables sound control by proximity. Extra coding efforts can turn the kit into a recorder, alarm clock or doorbell as well.

See CMF Industry View: Toys & Kids' Products for more on how kids are increasingly becoming the creators of their own toys, while Gen Z: Smart Kids Take Control explores how youngsters are tinkering with tech.