See How LittleBits Is Trying To Change The Way We Think About Electricity

littlebits, dec 2012, bi, dng

[credit provider=”Daniel Goodman / Business Insider” url=”http://www.businessinsider.com.au/author/daniel-goodman”]

Electricity is such an important element of modern life and society, but few people understand how it works and what it does. Ayah Bdeir, LittleBits founder and CEO, is trying to change that.LittleBits may just look like a company selling electronic gewgaws, but it’s all part of a big idea: to get people to understand basic electronics and use them in creative ways.

Bdeir’s company makes small, connectible electronic building blocks. They look a bit like Legos—and like Legos, they appeal to both children and adults. The blocks snap together and can be used to create little electric grids to power small light-emitting diodes and run a small motor or engine—or just about anything your imagination can power up.

As a result, LittleBits has an active and growing online community that shares different design ideas. 

We stopped by the company’s offices in Manhattan to see how they do it.

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title=”The first time we stopped by for our office tour, LittleBits was in the middle of an event to teach children about the electrical challenges in New York as a result of Sandy.”
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title=”Even without kids in attendance, the office environment has a classroom feel with games and chalk.”
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title=”Nearby sits the LittleBits studio. Employees shoot photos and videos here. littleBits has an active presence on Vimeo, where you can watch instructional videos.”
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title=”… and LittleBits has a nice assortment.”
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title=”And nearby is the crucial coffee maker, which gives a hint on when employees start showing up in need of caffeine.”
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title=”Supplies line the walls. The idea with LittleBits is to get creative and build your own projects which incorporate LittleBits devices.”
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title=”And it is definitely a hands-on kind of place. Industrial designer Jordi Borras is getting ready to build some fun decorations for the coming holiday party.”
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title=”With his poster board cut down to size, he needs to program in laser-cutter directions. (Did we mention they have a laser cutter?)”
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title=”Directions set and board in place, it’s go time.”
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title=”What will he do with that?”
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title=”It’s just one part of a bigger project.”
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title=”Meanwhile, Paul Rothman, an electronics designer, is working on modifying some old LittleBits products in order to make a cool sign for a party.”
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title=”But first he needs the right pieces.”
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title=”And then it’s time to concentrate.”
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permalink=”rothman-who-has-been-working-at-littlebits-from-the-beginning-took-some-time-to-show-us-the-companys-newest-set-of-products-a-holiday-kit-34″
title=”Rothman, who has been working at LittleBits from the beginning, took some time to show us the company’s newest set of products, a holiday kit.”
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title=”LittleBits has a fun design for the box and the new connectors have some great improvements.”
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permalink=”heres-how-littlebits-describes-itself-its-playful-but-not-all-about-play-36″
title=”Here’s how LittleBits describes itself. It’s playful, but not all about play.”
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permalink=”and-in-the-background-is-ayah-bdeir-founder-and-ceo-of-littlebits-hard-at-work-37″
title=”And in the background is Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of LittleBits, hard at work.”
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title=”We saw Bdeir working closely with her staff.”
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title=”Krystal Persaud is a junior industrial designer at LittleBits. She started this year and helped organise the children’s workshop we saw on our first visit.”
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title=”Nearby, Geof Lipman, an electrical engineer, who has been at the company for about four months, is working on a new design for the lights in the LittleBits.”
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title=”The best LittleBits projects of all.”
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title=”The Sesame Street House is awesome, with all kinds of moving parts and lights.”
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title=”We spot Bdeir in a meeting in LittleBits’ conference room. The table was specially designed for the company.”
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title=”Now, for a completely different kind of creative effort—making Internet memes …”
content=”54 Images That Show How Fluffy Creatures And Viral Content Come To Life At BuzzFeed >
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