littleBits Electronics, a company making hardware limitless, announced the launch of the cloudBit. First previewed at TED 2014, the cloudBit adds a new dimension to the littleBits library, letting you “snap the internet to anything”. Mapping to littleBits’ mission of putting the power of electronics in the hands of everyone, the company is aiming to democratize the Internet of Things (IoT).
The littleBits cloudBit gives people the power to turn any object into an internet-connected device in a snap no soldering, wiring or programming required. It differs from any other IoT device in that it’s not a device, but a powerful building block living within the larger littleBits library, which is open, modular, and interoperable. Now you can add the internet on top of the existing littleBits platform.
“Until now building for the Internet of Things has been reserved for large companies and experts, limiting the power of what’s possible and the rate of innovation,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. “With the cloudBit, we’re doing for connected devices what Android did for mobile making an open, accessible and instantaneous platform to enable anyone to prototype, test ideas, and participate in a field that is changing society. With the cloudBit, people can now recreate the most popular connected devices, prototype the next billion dollar idea, or solve their own unique problem, all within minutes, and genuinely push the boundaries of the Internet of Things.”
Through the littleBits web app, people can engage in three types of interactions: “BitsTM to Web” (such as an SMS Doorbell), “Web to Bits” (such as a Remote Pet Feeder) or “Bits to Bits” (such as a Cloud Controlled Camera). To extend the power and functionality of the cloudBit, littleBits has partnered with IFTTT a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement allowing people to integrate their inventions with web services such as Facebook, Gmail, Google Drive, Instagram, Twitter and hundreds of others. Combining IFTTT and littleBits, makers can create any number of projects unique to their lifestyle, from a Remote Crib Communicator to a DIY Smart Thermostat.
The cloudBit and the limited edition Cloud Starter Bundle comes with six electronic modules, an insert card with five tutorials and 100 more available online, and two accessories to easily start connecting everyday objects to the internet.
Any module included in the Cloud Starter Bundle can be paired with other modules from the littleBits library to create trillions of combinations and ideas. The cloudBit is available for $59, or included in the Cloud Bundle for $99.
"If we were to do this without littleBits it would take at least a full day of somebody’s time to get to anything resembling a working prototyping, as opposed to twenty minutes with littleBits and the cloudBit,” said a cloudBit beta tester from Incredible Machines.
littleBits also announced a second important collaboration. The company is partnering with RadioShack to launch into retail. littleBits will be available in select markets by August 2014 and in 2,000 retail locations beginning in Fall 2014. This launch is the first to result from the collaboration between PCH and RadioShack Labs.
“RadioShack is proud to be the first national retailer to bring littleBits to market,” said Joe Magnacca, CEO of RadioShack. “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.”