littleBits may be the LEGO of tomorrow

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Everyone is undoubtedly familiar with Lego building blocks, which, over the past decades, have allowed intrepid builders to design projects like cars, intricate structures and even fictional spaceships like the Millenium Falcon.  

A company known as littleBits is touting a product it hopes will do for electrical engineering what Lego did for structural engineering.

LittleBits has been around for several years now, first surfacing as a concept, but the system is currently shipping. The littleBits system has a number of color-coded blocks that snap together with magnets - allowing novice users to create functional circuits quickly and easily.

However, the magnets will only connect in one orientation, in an effort to prevent users new to the world of DIY electronics from damaging sensitive components.

The company also hopes to help encourage users to learn more about object oriented programming languages to build simple code.

The latest version - v0.3 - was recently on display at the NYC Toy Fair. The company currently offers four different kits, including a Teaser ith three pieces selling for $29, a seven-piece Holiday at $49, and 10-piece Starterfor $89.

Those wanting more components can get a 14-piece extended kit for $149. Individual Bits to perform specific tasks are available to purchase between $10 and $35. As you can see in the video above, the folks at Engadget spent some hands-on time with the building system at the Toy Fair and recorded the system on video - allowing us to get an idea of what the system is like to work with.