Product Design - Kano Computer Kit
By Flex McCool
In 2012, innovator Alex Klein and a friend thought up an idea for a computer that is for all ages, introduces people to computer coding and has the fun and playfulness that you see in legos. The kit allows people to construct and code their computer and can easily make simple games such as Pong and Snake. It even allows people to mess with the code of Minecraft. It is also open source so it is designed with public interest in mind. In fact the creators “went around the world and talked to hundreds of kids, parents, educators, and artists" to use to design the product. They based the product’s design "off 3 principles; simple steps, storytelling, physical computing, and tying them all together in a sense of play and exploration." The end product appears to not only be sleek but also well designed to prepare a new generation to the daunting complexities of next gen technologies. Also, Al Alcorn, the inventor of Pong has given a nod to this product, saying, "As computers have gotten more complicated they have become harder to understand. It’s more important than ever to give kids a way in that they will be ready for the future." Is Kano the answer to this problem like Al Alcorn suggests? Only time will tell. What is amazing though is that the team that is developing Kano started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 from November 19, 2013 to December 19, 2013 (exactly 1 month) to fund their project. Only 2 days after the campaign launched, they had made double what their initial fundraising goal was. While it is unclear if Kano will catch on in the same way that other mainstream computer products have, the support for Kano seems promising. Keep an eye out for this amazing product and its creative design.