We have seen a number of toys and devices — such as Piper and Bitsbox — that aim at teaching kids about engineering and coding. The latest of these is Jewelbots, programmable jewelry targeted at teenage and pre-teens girls, that hope to excite them about their potential as coders and engineers.
Friendship bracelets have always involved a huge element of creativity and learning, and the recent comeback of loom bands shows that customizable jewelry is as popular as ever with young people. Jewelbots, which are connected to each other by Bluetooth, update the friendship bracelet for the smart generation.
To begin, wearers connect their bracelets to those of their friends using the Jewelbot app, and program them to light up or change color when those friends are near. As they become familiar with the programming, they can design more complicated and creative responses, all the while learning the fundamentals of computer science. Since the platform is open source, users will be able to create their own rules — such as flashing a certain color when they get a text from their family or vibrating when they gain a new Instagram follower.
Jewelbots can be previewed at various upcoming hackdays across the US. How else can young girls be encouraged to experiment with programming?