Forget the Gold MacBook — Here’s a Computer Made to Throw
Categories: Tech

Forget the Gold MacBook — Here’s a Computer Made to Throw

With apps and resources like Vidcode, ScratchJr and Tynker, it’s no surprise that kids are learning Python and Javascript along with their ABCs and 123s. And that’s not the only aspect that’s changed about the average millennial kiddo’s childhood: Playtime is different too. We remember biking to our besties’ places to play with LEGOs and play catch in the yard. Now, kids are glued to bright screens, and playtime means programming a game, then playing the game. Hackaball is about to find a middle ground and get our little coders playing outside again.

Hackaball is a softball-sized computer that you can throw and bounce. With an outer silicone web, which allows it to absorb shock when hitting hard surfaces, this kid-friendly ball was made with your slugger in mind. To maximize the fun, kids can code the ball to have different responses, such as colored lights, sounds and vibrations. Since Hackaball is, well, hackable, it encourages kids to come up with their own games with the free iPad app. To ease your child into the coding universe, there are a series of preset games that teach all the basics. Once those games become too easy, your tech-savvy programmer can begin to create games from scratch.

The interface is simple and easy to understand, and the space-themed software is an adorable plus. The space narrative was added in after they realized the app was a little dry for younger kids to really engage with the coding aspect. Older kids wanted to take the ball apart and attach various parts to other toys like LEGOs (which by the way was totally doable with the given inputs and outputs). Is anyone else thinking about Raspberry Pi DIYs? The recommended age range is six to ten, but we think parents can get in on the fun too.

Hackaball is crowdfunding on Kickstarter. With a $69 pledge, you can start creating some fun catching games with the kids right around the holidays.

What do you think your kids will create? Will Hackaball get your kids playing outside?