August 1, 2014
RadioShack plans to stock DIY kits in its retail locations that provide consumers with the ability to create an array of connected devices. New York startup LittleBits has been selling sets that allow users to connect, for example, a sound detector to a LED light, for illuminating a small space every time a radio is turned on. LittleBits now offers its $99 Cloud Starter Bundle that connects gadgets to the Internet, while companies such as Bug Labs and Electric Imp are also offering ways to create connected devices.
The idea is that anyone will be able to eventually turn their home electronics into connected gadgets, instead of relying on Apple, Google or others to do the work for them. LittleBits claims that using its tech is as simple as working with Legos.
“A starter kit costs $99 and is designed to be useful in the hands of complete novices but also offers more advanced tools, such as APIs, for those who want to write code for the gadgets,” reports Businessweek. “LittleBits also has an agreement with IFTTT, an online service that allows people to automate various aspects of their Web experiences. This is how a balloon can be inflated every time someone mentions you on Twitter.”
LittleBits also offers a larger library of related kits and accessories, including hundreds of modules for those who have more complex designs in mind.
“The company sees these larger arrays of equipment as ways for small companies or inventors to prototype their own Internet-connected products,” notes the article. “Maybe some of those would end up on RadioShack’s shelves as well.”
For additional details, or to visit the online store, check out the LittleBits Electronics site.