Join Ayah Bdeir for an in-depth discussion in this video Demystifying technology with littleBits, part of Creative Insights: Ayah Bdeir and littleBits.
A hundred or more years ago, we looked around the world and we saw a world that was made of buildings and bridges. And essentially the way you understood what was happening around you is we had these tools and these construction kits such as Legos and such as the other construction blocks that broke down that building block of the world into building blocks for play. And kids were able to start imagining the world that they would then take part in. Over the next hundred years when the transistor came into existence suddenly, you had a technology that was running the world that people didn't understand anymore, and no longer was about the construction break.
Suddenly, it was about a piece of plastic that had all these electronics embedded in it, that was a black box. So suddenly, you start to have this divide between people who knew the technology of the day and people who didn't know the technology of the day, and that I find to be something very dangerous. The goal of littleBits is to take the transistor, and take electronics and make them into a break that's digestible, that is easy to play with. And to empower kids but also adults and to be able to make things that do things; to be able to make things that move and that light up, and that change and that have programmed behavior, without having to program or to wire or to solder and there is a really big power that's going to come from that.
And the idea behind that is that, we have now such a dependence on technology and on the electronics, in particular, but we don't have a deep relationship with these devices. We consume them but we don't understand them, and so when they fail or when they have features that we didn't know about, it becomes, really, it becomes scary or it becomes dangerous. So our idea is that you need to understand how lights come on in your room. You need to understand how a remote control turns on a TV.
And even more than that, you need to understand how servers are communicating. Or how cars are communicating. And how different technologies are running our lives. So the first most important thing in littleBits, was to really create a modular system where each brick is a self-contained preengineered circuit that operates on it's own, but also fits in with every other brick in the system. So that it's a library. So they are divided into four categories blue is power, pink is input, green is output, and orange is wires and those are categories that we created they are sort of these logical categories in order to make it easier to explain how to build a circuit. And so the rule is, rule number one the magnets are always right.
And rule number two is you always need a blue and green and a pink and orange are optional in between. And so this is a complex process, to make something very, very simple, to make it fool-proof, to make it elegant, and to make it instantaneous. Because we only have a few seconds to attract people's attentions. So we want to do it in a very immediate and a very gratifying way that gets them hooked and wanting to make more.