Mover Kit: Make-it-yourself technology

This toy introduces kids to coding and the technology behind their gadgets.

Mover Kit is a make-it-yourself toy for kids, introducing them to technology and coding in an interactive way. Mover Kit boasts being “the first active play wearable that kids make and code themselves.”

Bethany Koby and Daniel Hirschman, founders of Technology Will Save Us and inventors of Mover Kit, are experienced educators, business entrepreneurs and parents. They started their company in the hopes of bettering and widening the scope of early education.

“When we bring technology and play together, we can unleash on the world the most creative generation ever.”

They tested their prototype on 300 kids, using their feedback to perfect the device according to what kids enjoyed and learnt the most from, We conduct extensive research projects funded by organizations like NESTA, Google and Mozilla, to understand what young people love doing and what skills they are learning both in and out of school. This helps us lead everything with what kids love to do rather than what the technology is capable of.”

With first-hand experiences in the education industry, they realised that it wasn’t moving fast enough or keeping up with the kinds of toys and technology kids are interacting with at home. Witnessing their own son’s interaction with technology, they also hoped to find a way that kids can enjoy technology without simply absorbing it, but by contributing to it as well. As a result they came up with Mover Kit, “Mover Kit encourages movement! It's a game, speed-activated bike light, disco bracelet – whatever a kid can make, move & code it to be.”

Movement was a vital inclusion as it is directly linked to healthy brain activity in kids and adults alike. According to the Mover Kit website, “The World Health Organization suggests that all kids need 60 minutes of exercise every day to stay healthy – sadly most are only getting around 20 minutes! The Mover Kit encourages kids to get up and get moving while learning fundamental skills like programming and problem solving using technology.”

Koby and Hirschman intended for the device to be a means of knowledge and creativity, allowing kids to make whatever they imagine using a set of basic tools. The Kit comes with a mover circuit board, rainbow lights, a motion sensor, a compass, a USB connector and other wearable accessories.

Mover Kit is accompanied by a computer programme, called Make. Kids can change and adapt the device’s features to suit their imagination and interests. With block based programme design, it is easy enough for anybody to use. And once they’ve come up with an interesting invention they can upload their work to Make’s online community, or find another project to work on.

Mover Kit was named Forbes’ Toy to Watch in 2016. One of Technology Will Save Us’ earlier projects, Gamer Kit, was part of the Museum of Modern Art’s 2014 permanent collection, and in 2015 it was nominated as one of the designs of the year, by London Design Museum.

Mover Kit is can be found on Kickstarter, where it hopes to get support and a wider audience reach. They are ready for production and need the final push to get the toy in the hands of millions of young inventors.