As a 9-year-old boy I coerced my mother into buying me a Science Fair 50-in-1 Electronic Projects Kit from Radio Shack. It was a miracle in-a-box! I could wire any of the projects in its book, use it over and over without having to buy new components, and even prototype new ideas (though I probably called it “messing around”). It was a precursor to my interest in ham radio and played a key role in my eventually choosing a technical career. Josh Chan’s LightUp impresses me as having similar prospects, and more.
The world has changed since the 1960s. Components are now also digital and controllable. The Internet now connects people and devices. Collaboration and sharing are easy as never before. LightUp takes all these into consideration in their electronics learning system. Physical circuits can also be built online, turned into schematics and simulated. The online environment can be used to share projects, lessons and to collaborate. Long gone are the days when new makers had no option but to toil alone, experiment within the bounds of their imagination, and hack without access to collaboration. All these extensions are features of LightUp.
At the Hardware Innovation Workshop I’m looking forward to seeing the magic of LightUp first-hand. They’ll have LightUp on display for all to see at the Prototype Pavilion on Tuesday night. Better still, Josh Chan will be on hand to explain his vision and answer questions. What? You weren’t planning to be there? Remedy that! Register here.