BBC Commercializes Raspberry Pi Rival
In March, the BBC released the micro:bit as part of an educational initiative, and now the mini PC is going public.
(CCM) — This week, the BBC announced that its pocket-sized codeable computer – the BBC micro:bit – is now available commercially, starting at roughly $22 or £12.99 for a single micro:bit. The micro:bit is available for pre-order in the UK now from Kitronik, with delivery slated for July. The mini PC is also available in packs. The starter kit, which includes a BBC micro:bit, mini USB, battery pack, and four project ideas, is priced at £14.99. Meanwhile, the “BBC micro:bit Club” pack is priced at £140, or just over $200, for 10 devices and “everything needed to get a coding club started.” The most expensive pack is the “BBC micro:bit Bulk Box” which offers a whopping 300 devices for £3,200.00, and is aimed at IT training companies, micro:bit accessory manufacturers, kitting houses, and more. The BBC mini PC will become available from other retailers, including Premier Farnell, The Pi Hut, Pimoroni, Science Scope, and Element 14 soon. Interested users can also get their hands on the micro:bit’s iOS and Android companion apps, available now.
The mini computer was initially slated to ship to one million Year 7 students across the UK when they started the school year in October, but was hit with unexpected delays. “As a result of our rigorous testing process, we’ve decided to make some minor revisions to the device — getting it right for children and teachers before we manufacture one million units is our priority,” said aBBC spokesperson in a statement last September. The devices finally made their way to students in March, packed with built-in low-energy Bluetooth support, 25 LED lights, two programmable buttons, an accelerometer, five input/output connections, and even a built-in compass.