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@BigDataExpo Authors: Tom Kelly, William Schmarzo, Jason Bloomberg, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

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littleBits Launches cloudBitTM

littleBits Electronics, the company making hardware limitless, today announced the launch of the cloudBit. First previewed at TED 2014, the cloudBit adds a new dimension to the littleBits library, letting you “snap the internet to anything.” Mapping to littleBits’ mission of putting the power of electronics in the hands of everyone, the company is aiming to democratize the Internet of Things (IoT).

The littleBits cloudBit gives people the power to turn any object into an internet-connected device in a snap - no soldering, wiring or programming required. It differs from any other IoT device in that it’s not a device, but a powerful building block living within the larger littleBits library, which is open, modular, and interoperable. Now you can add the internet on top of the existing littleBits platform.

“Until now building for the Internet of Things has been reserved for large companies and experts, limiting the power of what’s possible and the rate of innovation,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits. “With the cloudBit, we’re doing for connected devices what Android did for mobile - making an open, accessible and instantaneous platform to enable anyone to prototype, test ideas, and participate in a field that is changing society. With the cloudBit, people can now recreate the most popular connected devices, prototype the next billion dollar idea, or solve their own unique problem, all within minutes, and genuinely push the boundaries of the Internet of Things.”

Through the littleBits web app, people can engage in three types of interactions: “BitsTM to Web” (such as an SMS Doorbell), “Web to Bits” (such as a Remote Pet Feeder) or “Bits to Bits” (such as a Cloud Controlled Camera). To extend the power and functionality of the cloudBit, littleBits has partnered with IFTTT - a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement - allowing people to integrate their inventions with web services such as Facebook, Gmail, Google Drive, Instagram, Twitter and hundreds of others. Combining IFTTT and littleBits, makers can create any number of projects unique to their lifestyle, from a Remote Crib Communicator and an Insta Ego Head to a DIY Smart Thermostat.

The cloudBit and the limited edition Cloud Starter Bundle - which comes with six electronic modules, an insert card with five tutorials and 100 more available online, and two accessories to easily start connecting everyday objects to the internet - are available for purchase starting today at littlebits.cc/cloud.

Any module included in the Cloud Starter Bundle can be paired with other modules from the littleBits library to create trillions of combinations and ideas. The cloudBit is available for $59, or included in the Cloud Bundle for $99.

"If we were to do this without littleBits it would take at least a full day of somebody’s time to get to anything resembling a working prototyping, as opposed to twenty minutes with littleBits and the cloudBit,” said a cloudBit beta tester from Incredible Machines.

Today, littleBits announced a second important collaboration. The company is partnering with RadioShack to launch into retail. littleBits will be available in select markets by August 2014 and in 2,000 retail locations beginning in Fall 2014. This launch is the first to result from the collaboration between PCH and RadioShack Labs.

“We're thrilled to announce RadioShack as our first-ever retail partner as they truly represent the origins of the maker movement,” said Bdeir. “All over the world makers, engineers, developers, and tinkerers remember their first RadioShack kits and how it inspired them to become who they are. By partnering with RadioShack, we can together reach an even broader community of novice and expert makers who can take advantage of the power of the littleBits hardware platform to prototype, build and create anything they can imagine.”

About littleBits

littleBits (www.littleBits.cc) is the New York-based startup that is making hardware limitless. The company makes a library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets to let anyone build, invent, and prototype with electronics -- no soldering, wiring, or programming required. littleBits breaks down powerful technology - from music with the littleBits Synth Kit, to space exploration with the littleBits Space Kit, and now the Internet of Things - and makes them accessible and easy to understand. The company was founded in 2011 by MIT graduate, TED Senior Fellow and cofounder of the Open Hardware Summit, Ayah Bdeir, and has grown to be a global leader in hardware. littleBits has one mission: To put the power of electronics into everyone’s hands. The littleBits library includes more than five kits and 50 interoperable modules with products sold in 70 countries around the world.

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