After the successful rollout of the Micro:bit to UK school children, attention is being turned to the general public. The Micro:bit is now available commercially at a starting price of £13 or around $19, which will get you just the board and nothing else. A Micro:bit Go starter bundle tosses in the board itself, a USB cable, a battery holder, two AA batteries and a Quick Start Guide for £12.29. However, you have to purchase the device in lots of 90 to receive that pricing.
The retail rollout was made possible by a licensing agreement that the BBC reached with the device’s maker, element14. The Micro:bit will also be available from a wide range of retail partners including Microsoft.
The Micro:bit is powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 processor and measures just 2-inches by 1.6-inches. It includes a microUSB connector, Bluetooth connectivity, a 3-axis accelerometer and a built-in compass. The Micro:bit also incorporates two push buttons for input and has a group of 25 individually programmable LED lights. As mentioned above, the Micro:bit is powered by just a couple of standard AA batteries.
The market for tiny, low-powered programmable computers is hot right now with Raspberry Pi garnering the lion’s share of the attention. Raspberry Pi recently introduced a revised “Zero” that now includes an FPC camera connection. The tiny computer uses a 1GHz Broadcom BCM2835 processor, includes a microSD reader and mini HDMI port for video out. Best of all, the Raspberry Pi Zero is priced at a low $5.