Everyone Can Become An Electronics Wiz Thanks To littleBits
Teodora Zareva is an entrepreneur, writer, board games geek and a curious person at large. Her professional path has taken her from filmmaking and photography to writing, TEDx organizing, teaching, and social entrepreneurship. She has lived and worked in the U.S. and Bulgaria and is currently doing her MBA at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Her biggest passion lies at the intersection of media and youth development. She is the co-founder of WishBOX Foundation, a Bulgarian NGO that helps high school students with their professional orientation by organizing events, courses, summer camps and developing digital media resources.
Ayah Bdeir had a dream - take electronics out of the hands of experts and large companies and put them in the hands of ordinary people in order to make them inventors, builders, designers, and experimenters. Today, her dream is a reality. Her company, New York based littleBits Electronics, makes electronics accessible to kids, adults, geeks, and amateurs, and has been gaining increasing popularity, critical acclaim, and investors attention.
"Our lives are riddled with electronics, but really a few of us know how they work and a few of us can invent our own. Software went through a revolution, but with hardware that hasn't happened yet. [...] If you want to make a robot, or if you want to make a remote control doorbell, or if you want to wire up your alarm system, or create a prototype for a next billion dollar start up, you really have to be an electrical engineer, and you really have to know how to wire and solder, and program. That makes the field not as innovative and as modern as it could be," says Ayah.
littleBits solves this problem by providing a big and growing library of electronics modules that are extremely easy to use for prototyping and learning. They snap together with the help of magnets and are color coded according to their function - green bits are power, blue ones are output, pink are input, orange are wire. All the circuitry is pre-integrated and you don't need to know how to program, unless of course you want to. littleBits has more than 60 modules that can make billions of combinations of circuits - from lights, sounds and vibrations to programmable and wireless connectivity over radio frequencies.
In July, littleBits announced cloudBit - a module that lets you “snap the internet to anything” and turn any object into an internet connected device. The powerful building block lives within the larger littleBits library, which is open, modular, and interoperable. It allows you to add the internet on top of the existing littleBits platform.
This September, bitLab was launched - an app store for user-generated hardware. This makes the littleBits system an infinitely open hardware platform that will spur invention and innovation in the hardware community. Just like the software app stores, the littleBits library acts as the platform, the Bits that developers submit are considered the apps, and the API is bitSnap, littleBits’ magnetic connectors. Once a module is prototyped, it can be submitted to the bitLab where the community votes on it. When a submission receives more than 1,000 votes, littleBits will review the submission to determine production feasibility. Approved modules will be manufactured domestically and available for purchase in the bitLab, with the developer receiving 10 percent of the revenue sold.
With its accessibility, affordability and easy of use, littleBits is making electronics just another material to play, build, experiment and design with, in a similar way lego has made it possible for years.
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.