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littleBits Now Lets You DIY Your Own Smart Devices

technology

The littleBits Smart Home Kit puts the power of the Internet of Things in consumer hands

Melanie Ehrenkranz
  • 4 december 2014

littleBits Electronics is primed to disrupt the smart home market with its latest unveiling – the littleBits Smart Home Kit, a top-notch kit of parts that lets users DIY their own smart devices. This kit provides the bits necessary to create a customized, connected home with existing décor, appliances and furniture. Rather than ditching these seemingly “dumb” objects for smart ones, users can retrofit them with smart functions, using the recently launched buttBit to “snap the internet to anything.” This marks an effort to stem the widening culture of obsolescence as consumers are forced to continually replace old devices with the new best thing.

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“Our mission is to put the power of electronics in the hands of everyone, and to break down complex technologies so that anyone can build, prototype, and invent. Democratizing the smart home industry is one more step in delivering on that promise,” says Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. “The Smart Home Kit is giving people the power and opportunity to take the Internet of Things movement into their own hands, and bring their home to the 21st century, on their own terms. Now you can recreate a popular smart device, retrofit an old appliance, or invent something entirely new that may be the next big thing.”

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I toured the new littleBits office in Chelsea, which was outfitted in smart device creations straight from the latest Smart Home kit. Instead of purchasing costly new connected devices and furniture, the littleBits team utilized the $249 kit to create a smart refrigerator, Internet-connected speakers, a smart lighting system, a remote pet feeder, a smart AC, an SMS doorbell answering machine, a wireless lamp, and more.

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Aside from the affordability factor, this also gives users a say in style. They are no longer limited to Internet of Things manufacturers. For example, they can use the Smart Kit bits to modernize a retro coffee maker into an Internet-connected one controlled via the littleBits web app. This puts the power of the design into consumers’ hands while simultaneously combating wastefulness.

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Take the Good Morning Sunshine project, for example. The littleBits team equipped a vintage Gramophone gem from Etsy with a butt-connected circuit that automatically opens up your curtains and plays a wake up sound using the IFTTT standard. No need to sacrifice style for function, with the Smart Home Kit any object is fair game.

The Smart Home Kit comes with 14 Bits, including the instrumental buttBit, and five brand new Bits: MP3 player, Threshold, Number, Temperature Sensor, and IR transmitter. It also includes an infographic poster with 14 projects ideas and 11 accessories, including the brand new AC switch, which connects the littleBits 5V system to AC power (110V). It’s available online starting today for $249. The Smart Home Kit will be available at select RadioShack locations in December.

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