A revival of the BBC Micro first introduced in the 1980's, albeit 70 times smaller and 18 times faster, the 40x50mm board also includes accelerometer and magnetometer sensors, a display consisting of 25 LEDs, and two programmable buttons. It can be powered by either USB or an external battery pack.
One million such boards are destined to year 7 pupils as a free incentive to learn programming skills and foster creativity while getting involved in technology, and from then on, the device's specs will be made open source, with the possibility to have more devices manufactured.
Each element is completely programmable via easy-to-use software on the www.microbit.co.uk dedicated website, with user-areas to save and test creations in a simulator before transferring them to the actual board.
The unit can connect to other devices, sensors, kits and objects, and is a companion to Arduino, Galileo, Kano, littleBits and Raspberry Pi.
“The BBC Micro started me on my journey towards a career in technology and the BBC micro:bit can have the same effect on children receiving their devices from today,” stated Simon Segars, CEO of ARM. “The ability to code is now as important as grammar and mathematics skills and it can unlock important new career options. I can easily imagine a new wave of design entrepreneurs looking back and citing today as the day their passion for technology began.”
More about the BBC micro:bit at www.microbit.co.uk
ARM’s BBC micro:bit page