Learn-to-code startup Kano is now shipping a 10.1-inch HD display to go with its keyboard plus Raspberry Pi DIY computer kit for kids. Back in May the startup announced a $15 million Series A funding round, in part to develop additional hardware add-ons for their core product, such as the screen kit it’s now shipping — but more generally to drive the overarching goal of the company to establish a creative computing brand.
As with the original Kano kit, the screen kit is a DIY accessory that’s designed to get children engaged with the process of putting the hardware together before they can use it for other stuff — albeit at an elementary, plug-in-the-pieces level, rather than entailing more involved electronics techniques, like soldering. Idea being kids as young as six can learn something about the hardware before they get to use it.
The screen kit, which can plug into any HDMI device, comes with a storybook to guide the plug-and-play learning process, which includes a magnifying glass so kids can examine the components and pixels. The pieces they will need to connect before they have a working display for their Kano computer include a driver board, LCD panel, programmable buttons, a base and stand and plug-and-play cables.
The screen kit was announced for pre-order back in September. It’s priced at $129/£109 through the holidays — which is a considerable premium on low end Android tablets of the same size (which are both screen and processor too, of course, not just the display terminal). But then parents are paying for the additional learning layer that Kano is packaging its kit with. Aka, the storybook plus other kid-friendly extras like a set of physical stickers they can use to personalize the screen.
Co-founder Alex Klein tells TechCrunch Kano has pre-sold more than 2,600 of the screen kits since September.