Remember the days when kids used to play with building blocks, instead of iPads?
With this toy, you can have the best of both worlds.
Bilo is a building block set that lets kids build models digitally through real blocks in front of them.
The blocks have micro controllers in them, which communicate their position to a Bluetooth-enabled base plate. That works to connect with a companion app on your smartphone or tablet, so you can see your model getting formed as you lay the plastic blocks down.
The app provides a free building mode, as well as a puzzles, where you need to form shapes on the screen to solve.
The blocks light up in green if you’re on the right path, and in red if you’re getting it wrong.
There are also LED lights in each 24-set block, so you can customise each block to light up in a colour of your choice.
The app also allows users to save each digital model and export it as an STL file to be printed in 3D.
Co-founder Lucas Carpenter explained that he came up with the idea to solve the problem of children passively playing with screens.
“My son is two and a half, and I think that what you want is for your children is to use both their beautiful little hands to create their own objects…but also not ignore the power of the digital world,” Carpenter told Mashable at Bilo’s booth at the Computex technology show in Taiwan.
He and a team of four others have been working on Bilo for three years, outside of their full-time jobs.
Bilo is not commercially available yet, but Carpenter says the team hopes for it to be on the market some time next year.
So whether you’re a kid, or just a kid at heart this might be the perfect excuse to start building.
Stay tuned for more news from the Computex 2017 in Taipei, as we cover it from the showfloor.