Continuing their expansion into advanced electronic components, littleBits formally released their CloudBit module today — and announced a retail partnership with RadioShack that further expands the sales reach of the growing company.
The CloudBit is an internet-enabled module that clips into the simple-to-use littleBits ecoverse. Magnetically connecting to other littleBits components, it can function in three ways: receiving commands you send it via the web (using a web app, IFTTT, or a custom interface made with their API) and transmitting them to the other components in your circuit, sending signals to the web from a littleBits circuit, or interfacing from bit to bit across the web. With the expanding library of modules, it opens a large range of capabilities for littleBits projects, from making a remote controllable pet water feeder, to receiving remote sensor, to theoretically controlling your AC, coffee maker, or other appliances.
LittleBits founder Ayah Bdeir explains that she wants the oncoming wave of cloud-enabled devices to belong to the community, rather than being closed systems that are prescribed to consumers by companies like Nest or Apple. She sees the CloudBit as a way to allow a user to make anything they need, anytime. It, along with their recently released Arduino module, help bring serious control to novice users. The new module costs $59 on its own or $99 in a kit package. (You can buy it from MakerShed here.)
Alongside the official release of the CloudBit, littleBits is also announcing a retail partnership with RadioShack to sell their products starting in select cities next month, and reaching their full 2000 store network in the fall. “RadioShack is proud to be the first national retailer to bring littleBits to market. littleBits is a company that is helping change the industry. I can’t think of a better example of true innovation, entrepreneurship and big thinking,” says Joe Magnacca, CEO of RadioShack, in a released statement.