It’s not easy to promote both coding and healthy living for kids. Engineering innovation companies, Made by Many and MAP, are attempting to change the way kids interact with programming by introducing Hackaball – a new toy that promises to get kids off their butts and play outside, all while learning various computer programming skills.
The ball-shaped toy comes packed with LED lights, a speaker, a processor, and a lot more! Not only can Hackaball be used as an alarm clock and a sound recorder, but it can also be used to create games. Its outer silicone membrane acts as a shock absorber, which allows for it to be thrown and played with. At $69 a pop, kids can own their very own coding Hackaball.
So how does Hackaball work? With a free space-themed mobile application, kids can write if-then rules that allow them to create their own kind of play. They decide how they want to use it. For example – kids can make it so that any time the ball drops or hits a wall, it changes colors. They could also program it to vibrate or make noises based on a command. Older kids can even create games with Hackaball – A hit-counter game, as shown in video, can be created with the ability to save high scores thanks to a Hackaball memory chip. The possibilities of coding creativity are endless.
Hackaball engineers launched a one-month Kickstarter campaign for the toy’s support and development. In one week, Hackaball raised about three-fourths of its $100,000 goal!
Hackaball will allow kids to be part of the computer programming maker generation. These kind of developments can change the outlook on IT jobs, as more people will be encouraged to code at a young age.