Wearable Tech World Feature Article
July 28, 2015

Jewelbots Friends Bracelets Teach Girls to Code

With every new technology, it seems that the youth are the first to see its potential: the Internet, social networking, smartphones, and now wearable devices. Jewelbots are a series of electronic friendship bracelets that are intended that not only give children some innovative technology, but can teach them to code, according to Wired magazine.

The bracelets can vibrate and light up in response to certain events. Girls can send Morse code messages to each other. While the devices are intended to teach coding skills to girls, they don’t need to know how to program in order to use them. At first, they configure the Jewelbots through an iPhone app.

A user can assign a friend up to one of eight colors. The bracelet will light up when a friend is nearby. The Jewelbots use Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi or cell networks, meaning that the girls won’t have to have their phone nearby for it to work.

Once the girls are familiar with the app, they can start hacking the Jewelbots’ Arduino base and make it do things the designers never intended. Some of the examples the designers, Sara Chipps, Brooke Moreland, and Maria Paula Saba, gave include vibrating when a user gets a new Instagram follower or when her dog leaves the yard.

It seems that there are a lot of people who want the project to succeed. The Jewelbots Kickstarter project has been funded to the tune of $130,800, 336 percent over its original goal of 30,000 with 1,415 backers and nine days to go as of this writing. Pledging $59 nets a backer two bracelets. Pledging the maximum of 5,000 gets the user a “friendship pack” of five bracelets and private coding workshop in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York or Washington, D.C.

If you’re interested in wearable technology, whether you’re a teenage girl or not, you might want to check out the Wearable Tech Expo in Las Vega from August 18-20.

Edited by Andrew Bindelglass

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