Reinvented Friendship Bracelet Jewelbots Teaches Children How To Code

By Olivia Reese, Parent Herald October 11, 09:39 am

Friendship bracelets have so long signified children's social connections. A reinvented friendship bracelet called Jewelbots is aiming to do just that, but with a special twist. The accessory for both boys and girls can also teach kids how to code.

Jewelbots, which are co-founded by Sara Chipps and Brooke Moreland, are programmable friendship bracelets that double as a tool for coding. The device caters to children aged 7 to 14 and uses the open source Arduino IDE to teach them how to code.

"This whole thing has been a quest to find something that girls love so much, and give them the opportunity to customize it if they want to," Chipps explained, as quoted by Fast Company.. "They don't have to [customize]-but the hypothesis is, they'll teach themselves and create community around it."

Jewelbots offer step-by-step tutorials and online courses that can be easily followed by children. They can learn how to write their own software for their Jewelbots even though they don't have prior coding experience.

The Jewelbot is composed of electronics and LED light enclosed within a plastic charm threaded onto a woven strap. The charm is Bluetooth-enabled and can reach up to eight friends. It glows whenever a pal is near the owner, according to Live Science. If a friend group is together, the Jewelbot will go into "Rainbow party mode."

The Jewelbot can also be used to indicate a new social message notification and alerts the owner by buzzing twice. Girls and boys can customize their own notification preferences by using an iOS or Android-compatible app, or use Jewelbots' Arduino-friendly library.

Girls and boys who use the Jewelbot device can send secret messages to each other by using lights and vibrations, which is akin to communicating Morse code-style. This unique vibrations and lights encourage children to be creative because the "secret language really appeals to them," Moreland noted.

One Jewelbot can be purchased for $69, a two-pack is worth $129 and a three-pack can be bought for $179. You can pre-order them on the official Jewelbots site. The device will start shipping this fall.

Jewelbots are also equipped with replaceable charms and bands, which allows children to match their style to their pals or express their mood for the day. Each Jewelbot purchase comes with two charms and three different bracelet bands.

Jewelbots function through Bluetooth and is not equipped with Wi-Fi or GPS technology, which means that parents don't need to worry about the kids' privacy getting compromised online. The reinvented friendship bracelet doesn't store any personal data either.

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