Kano Computer Kit
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- A computer anyone can make. With simple steps and a storybook, build your own computer and bring it to life. For ages 6-106.
- With playful projects and challenges you'll learn to code art, music, apps, games and more.
- Includes everything you need. Raspberry Pi 3, case, speaker, wireless keyboard, memory, HDMI and power cables, coding challenges, and stickers!
- Connect to any HDMI screen, or buy the Kano Screen Kit.
- Award-winning (Family Choice Award, Webby Award, Red Dot Award, Cannes Gold Lions).
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|Sold By||—||Amazon US||Quality Everytime||CBiSEducation||Just Childsplay||Amazon.co.uk|
|EU Toys Safety Directive Age Warning||—||—||—||Not suitable for children under 8 years. For use under adult supervision||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 3 years. For use under adult supervision|
|Item Dimensions||—||13.97 x 9.91 x 2.79 cm||27.94 x 20.07 x 5.59 cm||19 x 19 x 16 cm||50.01 x 38 x 7.49 cm||30 x 17 x 19 cm|
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In the box:
- Raspberry Pi 3—The computer's brain
- Story Book—Step-by-step guide
- Hours of Coding Challenges— learn code by making art, music, games & more
- Wireless Keyboard— with touchpad
- Case + Speaker—Protect your kit
- HDMI Cable—Connect to a screen
- Stickers—Customise your kit
The Computer Kit comes with everything you need to make your own computer. A simple story will show you how to build it, bring it to life and start coding . No tools needed, simply plug the parts together, anyone can do it.
It’s full of amazing apps that teach code, using favorites like Minecraft, Pong and Scratch. And unique apps like Kano Code, Story Mode and Make Art. Also includes a web browser, YouTube and more.
Through friendly, step-by-step challenges you level up slowly. Rewards at every turn increase computational confidence. Learn real code by making games, art, music, animations, photo filters and more.
Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-founder. Cherisse Campbell, Principal of Amana Academy. Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Founder. Imogen Heap, Singer. Karlie Kloss, Model, Coder. Zach Sims, Codecademy Founder.
CNN, Fortune, Fact Company, Forbes, Fox, TechCrunch, The Verge, and many more!
Describe your product in 3 words.
Anyone Can Make!
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
Kano started because of a challenge from Micah, 6. He wanted to build his own computer. But didn’t want “anyone to teach him.” It had to be “as simple and fun as Lego".
What makes your product special?
The Kano Computer kit allows anyone to learn to code through play. Through hundreds of specially designed challenges users can learn to make apps, art, and more by learning the essentials of programming.
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
We've been able to work with hundreds of passionate creative technology advocates, inspiring creators across the world - from South London to South Africa.
From the brand owner
How we got our start?It started with a challenge from a 7-year-old who wanted to build a computer by himself, and it had to be fun and easy. So we launched a Kickstarter to create the first computer anyone can make, got 15x the amount of money we asked and launched the company.
What makes our product unique?The Kano platform is the only end-to-end system demystifying technology and getting you creating, rather than consuming. Our strengths are the lovely DIY kits you make yourself, step-by-step books and tutorials, and an online community of hundreds of thousands of creators, to remix and learn from.
Why we love what we do?There are more than 20 billion connected devices, but less than 1% of 1% of us can understand and influence them. We believe in a future where anyone can. Our platform lets you build real devices, learn how they work, code them step by step, and share your creations with the world.
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Notifications are a little over the top in terms of people liking your work or on people you have liked their stuff, by default this plays a beep each time which can be annoying.
Also think it would have been better to have included a plug with a switch on the wire to help children turn the device off. On the device, I ordered a couple of years ago I bought a replacement for this as it was plugged into an extension lead and daughter couldn't turn it off unless she pulled the USB out the back of the pi. Though if you have it plugged into a normal socket with a switch on it then it wouldn't be an issue.
The orange keyboard broke within 4 months, though just switched to a normal keyboard and mouse to continue use, which my daughter prefers anyway.
I have now recently bought another one for my other daughter for Christmas as she wants one as well.
Feels like a high price for what there is when you look at the components, but the simple starting point and guided experience for children in my view is worth the money.
Firstly, "build your own computer". Incorrect. You're not building anything, you're literally plugging stuff in. If you teach your kids that the ability to plug in a DVD player is the same thing as the ability to build one, you're simply lying to them. This is a case of connecting 4 cables, then you're done. It's a bit like saying that by driving over a bridge, you built it. No, just no.
On to the kit itself, well. It's a cheap looking brightly coloured keyboard with built in trackpad. Logitech make these for £26 and they are relatively high quality. The one included in this package even looks cheap, and I'm inclined to suggest it's on par with the £5-£10 fleabay alternatives. Wouldn't rate it. I don't think I need to go into cables, as again they are probably bottom of the barrel trash tier, but we can conclude that including the Raspberry Pi itself, this kit probably has a physical value of around £50 at the most. It's being marketed at £140, so, let's try find the other £90 worth of value.
The underlying operating system is pretty obviously Linux. The chances that the marketing geniuses behind this product have any idea how to write an operating system from scratch are slim to nil. That effectively means that the first 99% of their job is done for them. All that follows is a few plug and play style applications to be developed. I'd estimate, looking at the few genuine YouTube videos available (more on this below), that the software probably took the best part of a month for a couple of developers to knock up. There are a few graphics and such which I recognise as having been pilfered from the open source community (more on this later, too), so it is literally just gluing stuff together to make it "work". I'd value this work at a relatively low sum, and could expect an individual lifetime license (it won't be updated for long, given how poor quality this stuff seems to be) to cost no more than £10-20 max. There's about £70 of wasted money here somewhere. I don't see where that's being clawed back from, but anywho...
The real issue that I have with this product... I'm not sure how to describe it. Raspberry Pi is created by the Raspberry Pi foundation. It is designed to let kids (including the 40-something kids) who have a real interest in computers tinker and do fun stuff. If you have an interest in using a computer to do something new and interesting, and learning how it works, that's exactly what the Pi is for. The Raspberry Pi foundation is a non-profit organisation. They lease the schematics without profit to build the computer to Farnell, RS Components, and some other companies who then sell them for their own minimal profit (they are businesses, after all, but they do take very low margins due to the charitable nature of the product). The software on which this platform is built is Linux. Linux is maintained by a huge community of open source developers. These developers work to bring an operating system which anyone can read, understand, and contribute to. It's a collection of components, and in this case almost certainly a derivative of Debian (aka Raspbian). Linux itself is non-profit, it's not built for people to extort money from. There are a few bits and pieces which are used in the interim, such as the scratch editor that the software uses, which is freely released as a Python package and was built once again by people who were non-profit oriented. There is also what seems to be a game engine of some description running, and whilst I don't have time to investigate it, it's probably the same sorta thing, released open source although probably with a license that allows profit to be made from its sale. I sure hope it does, otherwise these people will be in some substantial trouble.
Anyway, the point here is that the hardware in this kit is available much cheaper elsewhere. The only thing this stuff really offers is an interesting take on education. A take which from the very beginning, when you open the box, lies to the student. It tells them they are doing something they are not. I feel like this whole project is designed to sell other peoples time, effort, and work.
Finally, on to the state of "reviews" both here on Amazon and on the internet in general. Well, when I saw this project I thought "oh great, another maker board to educate people like the Raspberry PI, Arduino, or the Intel Galileo... I was very excited... These things were awesome efforts by a futuristic industry to give something back to the system that made them what they are (education). I thought this was going to be something good, since it looked to be somehow partnered with Amazon. How wrong I was... To try get a feel for how much of a scam this product is, I decided to look around on YouTube, Amazon, and tech sites. I found literally nothing. No "proper internet techie reviewer" has reviewed this product. Curious, I started to look at the few reviews which did exist. They almost exclusively involved children, and the ones which didn't made it quite clear... They were sent the hardware by the supplier (Kano Computing, presumably) in exchange for a positive review. Naturally, they won't say that, but take note folks... When you're watching a review where the reviewer does not mention a single bad thing about the product, it's almost certainly because they are not allowed to. Not one of the reviews I've seen has mentioned the build quality. Very few have mentioned boot time. I don't think any of them have touched on the above point that it's actually a Raspberry Pi in a case. They seem either ignorant or just deceptive. Then I hopped over to Amazon, and saw the list of reviews which are quite clearly fake... Well, there you have it. A company has set out to defraud charitable organisations, steal their work and sell it for a profit, and the only way they can think to achieve it is to lie, cheat, and steal.
I doubt anybody here is reading this still, but I contribute a lot to the open source community and know many others who do. We are a very friendly bunch of people, and we are always looking to introduce new people of all ages to our world of learning, development, and fun. If you want to get involved with software and/or hardware and/or IoT development, head on over to the Raspberry Pi forums (or any other maker forums, there are thousands), drop a post there, and observe the quantity of people who will go miles out of their way to help you out. Don't waste your time, nor your childrens time, on this plastic crap. If you need to know what to buy, where to get it from, what the costs of starting up are, or how to wire up a sensor or something, you don't need to "cheat" by exploiting the crap listed here. It certainly won't teach you anything more than the orientation of a USB port. The open source community can, and will. We are a well meaning bunch, and whilst I can't speak directly for the Raspberry Pi foundation, I can at least speak for those like myself who contribute, and say that this product is not here to do good, just to make a fast buck.
Bought it for my son together with the raspberry pi for kids book.
My son who is 14, built it himself and has launched into exploring what he can do with it.
judging from how busy it's keeping him, i'd say it's a success!