After one of the more successful Kickstarter campaigns, Kano’s DIY computer kit is officially available to the masses. Last fall, its campaign on Kickstarter raised over $1.5 million. It takes the hardcore out of two areas of the computer. Building one and learning to code.
The kit, retailing for $149, gives you everything you need to get started, minus the monitor. Most people have a monitor lying around, so it’s not that much of a roadblock. Kano’s setup is so easy anyone can learn via the instruction manual, but the design aesthetics are geared towards kids.
It removes the intimidation factor of kids building their own PC, by making the process quick. Kids can be up and running swiftly, learning to code and tinker with their new device. It sounds like we will have the next generation of Silicon Valley heroes shortly.
The Kano is powered by the Raspberry Pi computer, which is small but powerful. It alone normally retails for $35. What sets the Kano apart is that it makes computer building almost like playing with legos. It’s that intuitive.
That intuitiveness extends to how it teaches kids. Gone is the technical jargon of an instructional manual. Instead, it relies on a color-coded booklet, and refers to the parts in normal language. For example, instead of using the motherboard, it refers to that part as the ‘computer’s brain’.
Coding also takes the same approach, teaching kids how to manipulate Kano Blocks, that transforms coding in a puzzle-like exercise. That sure beats the pages of written code. Kids experiment and then move on to alter the included games of Minecraft, Snake and Pong.
It keeps the learning curve low for kids, and that helps capture their attention. Being able to alter Minecraft is sure to get kids involved in coding in a whole new way. They may love their iPads, but the Kano takes the PC and makes it into a fun learning environment.
Parents wanting to turn their kid into the next coding millionaire can jump over to Kano’s site and order the kit today. It’s nice to see a Kickstarter project go from funding to full-scale production.