A company called littleBits has taken the hobby DIY kit to a whole new level with its Internet of Things
-friendly cloudBit and Cloud
Starter Bundle that allow you to add connected intelligence to any number of otherwise “dumb” items.
The $59 cloudBit is designed to work without any need for wires or soldering, and it’s technically its own tiny computer board running Linux and packed with a FreeScale i.MX23 ARM926EJ-S processor, 64MB of RAM, a 4GB SD card, and an 802.11b/g USB adapter. There are also ADC and DAC I/O pins, as well as GPIO.
littleBits mentioned a number of applications
the cloudBit can be used for, including a DIY Nest
alarm, a doorbell alert system that sends you SMS texts, a baby monitor, an intruder alarm, a cloud-connected remote control, and more. The device lets you connect to web services like Facebook or Gmail with IFTTT, and a button or sensors can trigger various actions.
It works in reverse as well, with the ability to send web events to the cloudBit, and the little board can also allow communication between two devices.
If you want more goodies to play with, you can opt for the $99 (regularly $165) Cloud Starter Bundle, which includes the cloudBit in addition to five other prototyping modules, a power cable, mounting boards, and tutorials.
The best part is that although this looks like a sublime amount of fun for adults, the whole thing is geared toward kids ages 8 and up.