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Peripheral Vision 011: Ayah Bdeir on the importance of knowing how your electronics work

Brian Heater
11.08.13
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"I didn't set out originally to start a company," explains Ayah Bdeir. "I was trying to solve a problem." She's seated in the solution, a sunny office space in downtown Manhattan. A portable dividing screen provides some semblance of privacy, separating us from a space packed to the gills with makers and engineers tinkering with LittleBits' newest products. The company is in the pre-holiday push, bringing 20 new modules to market, additions that bring the total number of available Bits to 60.

In amongst the explosion of microcontrollers like Arduino and RaspberryPi, Bdeir's company offers something different: utter simplicity. LittleBits are targeted firmly as those with the desire to create, but largely lacking the technical expertise to do so - people curious about how their smartphones work, but with no idea where to begin looking. "I realized that electronics govern our lives and people don't understand them," Bdeir continues. "There are all of these tools available to hobbyists and tech enthusiasts, but what if you don't want to go through the step learning curve? We have to speak to the wider crowd, people who are not necessarily sold on the idea that they have to know how to wire a circuit or make something move."

Bdeir will be appearing this weekend at Engadget Expand in New York City.

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