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July 26, 2008

Sketching in Hardware Day 2: Jeff Hoefs and Ayah Bdeir

Electronics as material

what we thought we wanted
an easy way to use electronics prototyping kits for Smart Design

  • simple enough for people with little to no electronics knowledge

  • supports quick and loose ideation

  • easy to assemble and disassemble

  • small and mountable

  • reusable

what we really needed

  • not a prototyping platform, but a material

  • already enough prototyping platforms

  • industrial designers don't actually want to do software logic - they want to work with a tangible thing like

  • cardboard, paper, nuts, bolts

  • all you need is a power source

what we came up with: littleBits
you can grab it and use it, but can escalate to a more complex prototyping tool
discrete components that are not quite raw
so they use magnets: small, impossible to connect incorrectly, easy to snap together
no logic: it's just on or off once the components are together
using cardboard with copper tape to mock up surface mount

some ideas

  • create a recorder modules to preprogram common behavior and configurations

  • moving to 3 wires so that it is compatible with Arduino for more complex interactions

  • make it open source to enable libraries of configurations

  • get wider adoption!

Posted by egoodman at July 26, 2008 12:22 PM


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