We’re great fans of anything that inspires kids to get to grips with technology from an early age, noting recently the smarthome and Bluetooth LE kits added by LittleBits. Now a British company is aiming to bring even smarter technology to Lego, claiming that it’s the first physical product that can be programmed with Swift Playgrounds.

SBrick Plus is a brick that you can place into your LEGO® models so you can control them remotely using a smart device like a phone, tablet, gamepad or even Chromebook or PC. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though; SBrick Plus can use sensors from the WeDo 1.0™ family can be programmed in several languages, so it’s a perfect way to start your journey into programming and robotics!

On the Apple side, you can control SBrick creations with the iPhone 4s and up, any iPad from the iPad 3, modern Macs and even the Apple Watch …

SBricks is also compatible with Power Functions, Wedo 1.0 and NXT/EV3 devices – though the latter require an adapter.

Kits are designed to allow kids to build a number of different models from the same parts.

For example, if you have the Fireplane (model 42040) at home then you can build lots of different models using the same parts. We have designed 12 models using this Fireplane, including a robot that can draw, a helicopter and even a band that makes music.

There are lesson plans and an education library which the company says are suitable even for parents with no coding experience, allowing adults to learn alongside their children. The lessons have been approved by Cambridge University.

Right now, it’s a Kickstarter project, but with half the funding raised just three days in, it’s looking like a safe bet. Rewards start at $59 for a single SBrick Plus. The previous-generation SBrick is already available, with prices starting at around the same level.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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