LEGO never puts a limit on imagination, and at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the buildable block giant announced a new innovation that will put kids more in charge of their toys than ever: the LEGO BOOST. Aimed at children ages 7 and up, the BOOST is designed to teach kids (and anyone else who wants to learn) about the basics of coding and programming through the use of a building kit and a free app.
After downloading the app and syncing it to their BOOST building kit, users can add movement and sound (like voice recordings) to their latest LEGO creation, allowing them the creativity to customize their toys. The BOOST is powered by a Move Hub, which the company describes as "a LEGO stud-covered brick with built-in tilt sensor upon which children can add LEGO elements, motors, and a sensor that combines color and distance detection." In the video below, you can see some of the movements a BOOST creation is capable of:
Each BOOST set includes directions to create five standard models: Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4), and the Autobuilder. But you won't be shackled to just those creations; the BOOST app also has what LEGO calls a "creative canvas" that includes instructions for three creation bases: "a walking base for making animals like a dragon or a pony; a driving base for building vehicles like a dune buggy or rover; and an entrance base so that children can make their own castle, fort, or even a futuristic space station." This allows you to cobble together preexisting LEGO kits to try your hand at something more original, such as a DIY Star Trek ship or a Batman BOOST creation.
“We know that children dream of bringing their LEGO creations to life, and our chief ambition for LEGO BOOST is to fulfill that wish," Simon Kent, design lead for the LEGO Group, said. "Once children build a LEGO creation, we give them simple coding tools to ‘boost’ their models by adding personality. We want children to first and foremost have a fun and limitless play experience, adding the coding opportunity is the means to get there.”
Each LEGO BOOST kit comes with the Move Hub, a color and distance sensor, and an interactive motor, as well as 843 LEGO pieces for building and a playmat that works with the app. The BOOST will retail for $159.99 when it is released in the second half of 2017.