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iPod Designer Invents Easy Interactive Building Blocks for Kids

• Joseph Flaherty via

If kids want to paint a picture, they can get brushes at an art store. If they want to design a skyscraper, Legos will do. But what about those who want to build a magic wand that can turn their bedroom light on and off with the flick of a wrist? There aren’t many construction toys that can fill that need, but that’s exactly the type of interactive play a company called Atoms Express wants to foster.

Their products, called “Atoms” are little plastic blocks that house motors, sensors, and wireless-communication transmitters that allow for the construction of interactive experiences that can be manipulated manually or through an iPhone. Unlike Lego Mindstorms, Atoms require no programming expertise. Robust shells, app connectivity, and the potential for playfully mischievous purposes further separate them from other DIY electronics kits, like LittleBits.

Founded by Michael Rosenblatt, an Apple alum who led the team responsible for the first-generation iPod touch, Atoms Express just set up shop on Kickstarter to fund this vision and get these “Atoms” distributed to curious minds everywhere.

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