Kano turns Raspberry Pi into a Lego-like kit for all ages

A new London-based Kickstarter project called Kano wants to turn the Raspberry Pi into a Lego-like "fun" computer, instead of the daunting motherboard it's come to be. The Kano began funding on Tuesday, and a day later has almost doubled its funding goal of $100,000 (£62,000)

According to Kano's Kickstarter page, it aims to be: "A computer and coding kit for all ages, all over the world. Simple as Lego, powered by Pi. Make games, learn code, create the future."

The Kano is as small as a credit card, and its compatible keyboard is built with a trackpad inside.

Kano also included several testimonials from children who expressed their interest in building a computer and how rewarding of an experience it is. One 8-year-old exclaimed: “Adults think we're incapable, but we made a computer with this like, Matrix code. We’re like super children.” 

The $100 (+$20 shipping) kit brings you the Kano instructional books, Kano OS and Levels on 8GB SD card, a DIY Speaker, the Raspberry Pi Model B, Kano Keyboard Combo, custom case, card mods and stencils, HDMI and mini-USB cables, smart power plug (all region pins available), and WiFi power-up. 

The Raspberry Pi has gained a lot of popularity in the hacking community, but perhaps the Kano can extend it even further into the mainstream. The Raspberry Pi foundation revealed over the weekend that 2 million units have been sold since February 2012. Popular Raspberry Pi hacks include turning it into an AirPlay speaker receiver, XBMC media centre, Ice Cream Sandwich machine and more. Its cheap price makes for an impulse buy.

"There's enormous value to platforms like Kano which add hardware, software, peripherals and documentation to the Pi to make it more appealing to users who are under-served by the standard offering," said Eben Upton, founder and CEO of Raspberry Pi.

"I've had a play with early versions of the Kano software environment, and I think Alex [Klein - one of the people who formed the company] and the team are doing great work making the Pi more accessible to younger and less technical audiences."

The Kano is expected to ship to backers in July 2014.