If you want to introduce a child to technology without the slightest chance of turning him or her into a screen potato, you need to know about Kano.
There is no better evidence of this than Kano's 2018 entry into cobranded coding kits that deliver its programming education within a compelling world with a large, engaged fanbase. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, released in October 2018, lets users explore the world of Hogwarts through 70 different environments while learning about accelerometers, magnetometers, and gestural controls. Advanced users have even been able to turn their wizarding wands into gesture-based remote controls for their homes. In January 2019, Kano announced a licensing deal with Disney to create branded coding kits starting with Star Wars.
The London-based startup offers a range of programmable computers that kids as young as 6 can assemble themselves. Then they can use it to program software, build stuff in Minecraft, and otherwise engage with computing in a way that’s anything but passive.
Kano launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2013, and has been steadily turning into a real business ever since. In 2016, it arrived on store shelves at Barnes & Noble and Toys R Us locations. The company also returned to Kickstarter to fund three new build-it-yourself kits—a screen, a camera, and a speaker—that can be used independently, with each other, or with the Kano computer to let kids invent everything from security systems to musical instruments.
Its Kano World social network lets budding engineers share their creations—which means that the kids who experiment with Kano’s gear will do as much to shape those devices’ future as the company that makes them.