A new Kickstarter project is being run to develop coding in younger children with a handheld gaming device. The project called Pip is similar in look to the Nintendo Switch but runs Raspberry Pi internally. While the device will not run most modern games, it will run Minecraft and allow for burgeoning script kiddies to make their own programs.
What is the Pip
Pip has a customized programming tool called Curiosity. Curiosity supports Python, Lua, and drag-and-drop Google Blocky coding. The tool has built-in functions that allow for creation of games and interactive apps. By using an emulator you can test out the code via browser, then save it to the Pip once it is ready to rock.
The device comes from Glasgow’s Curious Chip in an attempt to teach kids how to code. The nice thing about the device is that it allows for more educational tools for kids to use while out. While coding can be complex, the Pip makes deployment a snap. To bypass a development environment, the project just needs to be saved and then run.
The device features an 800×480 touchscreen along with two side controllers which serve as keyboards. Hidden behind the controllers are multiple USB ports for external keyboards and mice along with an HDMI socket.
Given the almost required knowledge of basic coding these days; a simple handheld device to let kids develop their own projects via simple methods is a great entrance point. While the device is not scheduled to ship until the third quarter of next year the Kickstarter is currently underway.
For anyone with younger kids it is a great way to bridge the gap between gaming and coding in simple terms to get kids excited about how they interact. The device tier starts at $197 for Early Bird rewards and $230 after that sells out.