A few years ago, the GoldieBlox commercials got the world excited about women in engineering with smart toys for young girls and great use of the Beastie Boys, but it didn’t really solve the gender-in-tech disparity. Enter Jewelbots, the product to get girls in the coding world.
Developers Sara Chipps and Brooke Moreland are no strangers to the lack of women in the computer science industry, and now they’re trying to even that out by getting girls interested in coding early.
Jewelbots is a programmable bracelet geared toward tween and teen girls. The wearer can personalize and build custom features through code.
Beyond that, these bracelets help keep girls connected with their friends—tech toys don’t have to be all solitary activities. According to Mental Floss, the bracelets blink, vibrate, and light up to allow communication in Morse code, and they react to friends’ or nearby devices.
What the watch actually does it up to the wearer. Using open source software Arduino IDE, girls can customize their bracelets using sample codes on the Jewelbot website for guidance. For instance,the jewelry can be programmed to blink with every notification on social media or can remind the wearer when their favorite TV show is on.
“We want to help girls get excited about building and technology at a young age, before they are deciding what career path to choose,’’ Moreland told PSFK. “We also have observed that many programmers started programming because they were genuinely interested in projects and games and had a problem that they wanted to solve, not because someone showed them, but because they wanted to figure it out.’’
Prototypes are currently being tested, and the product is expected to debut later this summer. Make sure to bookmark this if you want to give possibly the most important birthday gift you could to a budding brain.
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