Archive for April 22nd, 2012

Ninja Blocks: much more than a gizmo!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 by Roberto Saracco

The more I browse the Internet the more amazed I am. Take as an example the Ninja Blocks.

A Ninja Block

These are smart objects that can be easily programmed to perform a certain task, like switch on the light is the baby starts to cry in the crib or send an alarm and take a picture if someone is taking something from your desk drawer.

They can connect to the internet and programming them is a matter of a few clicks, most of the time downloading a set of actions someone else has already programmed. This is because they use Arduino, an open source electronic board used by hobbyists.

The way to program these devices is based on ifttt (if this then that), an intuitive way of accomplishing actions on the internet (if you are not familiar with this approach take a look at the website and start doing your own programming in a few seconds). So, this is the second amazing thing: the fact that creating complex sets of actions has become very very easy!

And then there is a third amazement. The idea of creating NinjaBlocks (the inventor is Mark Wotton) required (as all ideas) some capital money to be transformed into reality. How do you get seed money? Well, on the Internet, of course!

He put the request for seed money on Kickstarter in January and within 72 hours he managed to get is 24,000$ funding sought. By the end of the campaign, on March 10th, he got 103,000$!

Kickstarter is a new way to fund and follow creativity, as they announce it on their website. You go there and you see what ideas are available and you decide what you want to fund. This is what Kickstarter says about itself:

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse. We hope you agree… Welcome to Kickstarter!

Don’t you find all this amazing? I surely do. There is no more excuse not to build up your own future!