Kano, the London-based startup that made waves at Kickstarter for its campaign involving a make-your-own-computer kit, is now back in the crowdfunding website armed with Lego-like modules that will allow users to build their own camera, pixel board and speaker.
The three new products are seen as part of an expansion into the internet of things while pursuing Kano's aim to educate the public about technology at the same time.
The Camera Kit includes a powerful 5-megapixel codeable shooter that can be turned into a spycam, a camera that can make GIFs or one that can be triggered by motion. The Pixel Kit, on the other hand, contains a lightboard capable of building games and creating artwork. The Speaker Kit includes components to build a smart speaker that can record, control and synthesize sounds and music. All bundles come with their respective Kano code.
"The original Kano in 2013 was all about making your own computer, coding your own art, apps and games," Alex Klein, Kano's CEO and co-founder, explained in an interview with The Verge. "But this time it's about taking you back into the physical world. Step by step you make a device. You learn how it works. We want to make computing physical again!"
Users should not be daunted about the process because it is simple and easy, requiring no technical skills. The parts are attached together without any tools whatsoever and the process will only take minutes to complete.
The idea is not so much about teaching the consumer any practical skills. Rather, the products aim to instill a mindset that treats any product as something that could be both taken apart and put together.
"When we started, what we wanted to demystify was the computer," Klein told Fortune. "There needs to be a new age of computing that isn't just click, tap, swipe."
Specifically, the new kits are expected to further help the public in general acquire a different perception about computer science and programming. This is why aside from the hardware products, Kano also offers an array of programming kits. For example, when a consumer buys a Camera Kit, the Kano Code that comes with it teaches the user how to program a timer or how to trigger the flash, among others. The ease in the manner by which codes are learned, even for kids, is expected to help them take control of the world around them.
The new Kano kits will have a staggered release next year. Kickstarter supporters will receive the Pixel Kit by January, with the Camera and Speaker bundles rolling out in May and July, respectively. Supporters only need to shell $99 for each kit while the retail price is $129.99 when a kit finally hits the market.