January 28, 2015

Introducing Codie: A Fun Way to Get Started With Coding

Codie is a new startup with a goal to produce a fun and affordable toy to teach kids the principles of computer coding. They plan to make coding fun and give kids a head start to strengthen their curiosity and make them want to explore coding for themselves. Codie itself is a toy which you program using the included app.

The toy itself is wooden and is programmed using a custom-built graphic coding language. It is meant to be educational but fun at the same time, blurring the lines between learning and play as Codie puts it. Kids should gain logical thinking skills by playing with the toy and solving problems along the way.

The Codie has tons of sensors and equipment that enable you to do a lot more as you progress with your coding skills. The bot comes pre-assembled, so you simple have to take it out of the box, pair it with a bluetooth enabled smartphone, and start coding. The sensors and equipment include an LED circle at the top to display patterns and modes, and internal compass, ultrasound sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer, microphone, and light sensor.

The app uses simple colourful blocks that you can link together with arrows showing the direction of execution. Kids are able to learn real programming patters such as if-else structures, loops, variables and subroutines without the intimidating text that comes with normal code.

With the app, Codie claims your kid can start coding in two minutes. The app is designed for touch-screen smart phones, currently only available for iOS but they have plans for an Android version as well.  The code blocks are organized in a way to let kids find them easily. The interface should be simple enough that kids will be able to use it and parents can figure it out at a glance to help out their kids.
Their indigogo campaign should start in a few weeks so there is no pricing yet. Their planned completion date is July 2015 so it's not that far away. Their project seems to be well on their way to completion so you wont get a defective product that is way behind what they claimed in the original campaign like some other campaigns. The Codie is improving on what is currently available on the market buy creating a simple process that is aimed at the extremely young.  It involves no assembly like a Lego Mindstorm set and has a simple smartphone interface. Hopefully it comes at a significantly smaller price point than the $300 Lego Mindstorm systems as well.

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.