Jewelbot, a fetching friendship e-bracelet, is a far cry from its braided-yarn, decidedly analog predecessors of decades past. The open-source wearable is designed to spark pre-teen and teen girls’ interest in coding by allowing them to program it for various functions themselves.
Comprising an elastic bracelet available in 10 different colors and a computerized flower-shaped charm that lights up or vibrates, the Jewelbot employs an integrated development environment from Arduino, which girls can program via the Jewelbot app on an Android or iOs device to notify them of new Instagram followers, send and receive text messages, generate weather information or anything else they can devise. They can update the programming changes on the bracelet via Bluetooth by pairing it with the Jewelbot app on their smartphones, or by plugging it into a computer with a micro USB.
The company behind the bracelet, also called Jewelbot, created it out of concern over the lack of young women pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers today. Its founders, Sarah Chipps, Brooke Moreland and Maria Paula Saba, hope that marrying a feminine bauble with high-tech functionality might spur girls’ interest in coding at an early age. “Our goal is to get girls so excited about controlling their Jewelbot that they inspire one another to create amazing functionality while learning to code,” says Moreland, co-founder and COO, Jewelbot.
As of this writing, Jewelbot has raised just over $118,000 in funding on Kickstarter, smashing their original goal of $75,000. It expects to ship the first round of Jewelbots in March 2016.
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