Repurposable Toys, the Gift of Giving... and Giving Again

Kano computer kit touch source: kano.me

Kano computer kit touch source: kano.me

The idea of a product being reusable and repurposable is all too quickly disappearing, no industry seems to be worse for this than the tech industry. Planned obsolescence is a key factor to this, designing products so they have an artificially shorter lifespan and no potential for repair, Kano is a tech company that is going in the opposite direction.

Self-described as “a computer and coding kit for all ages, all over the world. Simple as Lego, powered by Pi”. Kano stands behind that original statement, only creating products that disassemble into basic components with the ability to combine and work together or separately, a world apart from the direction most technology has gone.

Kano computer kit source: kano.me

Kano computer kit source: kano.me

The potential of what can be built on Pi using Kano’s computer is endless, if you can dream it you can build it. Kano’s architecture allows a beginner to start simple yet doesn’t put down boundaries as they become more experienced users. The system has inbuilt projects ranging from tracking the International Space Station to reinventions of the classic games Pong and Flappy bird.

Since Kano started their line of self-assembled tech there’s been some competition from Google with their AIY, another raspberry pi based system to build smart cameras and speakers. While working off a similar concept, google is targeting an older and more capable market, with lower cost and lower user friendliness. The speaker and camera link into google’s cloud databases for voice and image recognition boosted by inbuilt machine learning to recognise images and voices, making them powerful additions to many DIY projects.

AIY produced and supported by Google source: all3dp.com

AIY produced and supported by Google source: all3dp.com

In this digital age, DIY tech that has capabilities limited only by your imagination is comparable to the chemistry sets and radios of old. They will be remembered as the start of an insatiable curiosity and desire to understand and influence the world we live in. If you’ve been interested in this push to design with modularity and reusability in mind then get in contact with us regarding Product Design at Honepd Melbourne on 03 9939 8880.

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