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SAM 'electronic lego for kids' project storms Kickstarter on day one

John E. Dunn | Oct. 1, 2014
Modular IoT system teaches how to control and connect devices using code.

"SAM's Bluetooth-connected modules can be used to build anything from fridges that create grocery lists, to skateboards that record and post tricks to the web, to bicycle signalling jackets. All easily programmed with the SAM app," he says.

In a fascinating pointer to the future of high-tech, the team Horn assembled around him in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator contains designers from Imperial College and the Royal College of Art. These sorts of minds would normally never meet, let alone work together.

He set a fairly modest Kickstarter target of £50,000 (approx. $80,000), which judging from day one might be setting the bar a bit low. Within a few hours of going live, SAM had already breached the £17,000 mark.

If it succeeds in reaching its target it will be another turn-up for the books of an educational tech sector that looked down and out until the fabled Raspberry Pi started to turn the tide in 2011. This movement has gone in a number of directions, including the superlative Kano, another Lego-like project that let's young people build a complete but cheap computer form simple components, including hardware and software.

The Raspberry Pi's huge success has encouraged others and suddenly the scene is flowering at last. Schools and young people have waited a long time for this moment and the potential is suddenly huge. The SAM could be another important moment.

Anyone interested in funding the project has until 29 October to add their cash to the Kickstarter total.


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