Looking for holiday gift ideas? Let’s face it, there are only so many cleverly concealed flash drives and digital photo frames you can give out before your gift recipients start complaining about your lack of imagination. Here are some suggestions with MIT connections.
DIY electronics—Adafruit Industries, founded by Limor Fried ’03, MNG ’05, sells kits and parts for original, open-source hardware electronics projects. Check out Drawdio (shown below) a pencil that draws music and was created by Jay Silver SM ’08; the Ice Tube clock, a Russian vacuum fluorescent tube clock; and Tweet-a-Watt, a wireless home-power monitoring system.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.