Gadgets for humans

Kano’s latest DIY kit lets your kids build a touchscreen computer

Because touchscreens are fun, m'kay?


London-based startup Kano has made a name for itself with its DIY computer kits, which aim to make it easier and more enjoyable for younger users to learn to code. Today, the company launched its newest offering, the Computer Kit Touch.

The Computer Kit Touch follows the same playbook used by the previous Kano kits. Users — almost always small children — have to build their computer by following a step-by-step storybook.

In this case, Kano’s latest kit bundles together a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, a keyboard and trackpad, a Raspberry Pi, and all the cables and housings required to bring these components together.

Then, using the included Linux-based operating system, the user takes things further by learning programming skills with things like Scratch and Python, and experiment with extending games like Minecraft.

What makes the Computer Kit Touch different is that it includes a responsive tactile display, allowing users to learn how touchscreens work, and crucially, build apps and software for them.

They’re just more fun. And if you want to do things like play with particle physics — like the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit does — it makes sense to do so in a more tactile and responsive environment.

“Your first experience with computing and code should be simple, playful, and powerful,” said Alex Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Kano, in a statement.

“The Computer Kit Touch takes the experience of building your own computer to a new level, by revealing the secrets of touch interaction. Combining block based and text-based coding, it shows you how modern computing systems work. It gets you inside the screen, rather than just in front of it, and provides a set of art, music, and programming tools – not just toys.”

The Computer Kit Touch is available today from the Kano website and selected retailers and costs $279.99. Keep an eye out on plugged for our review, which will be coming soon.

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Published September 13, 2018 — 09:00 UTC