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  1. Hardware
July 8, 2015

BBC battles digital skills gap with Micro Bit computers for kids

The pocket-sized computer includes 25 red LED lights and two physical buttons.

By CBR Staff Writer

The BBC has unveiled the final design of its new Micro Bit pocket-sized computers that will be given to 11 and 12-year-old children throughout the UK later this year.

The computer was unveiled at an event in London with plans to roll it out in October.

The device includes 25 red LED lights, two physical buttons and a built-in motion sensor that was not present in the earlier prototype unveiled in March this year.

It features an ARM-built processor, an accelerometer, Bluetooth antenna, a compass, a USB port and motion-sensor.

The device can also be connected to other computers such as the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Galileo to undertake additional complex tasks.

The BBC said children can write simple code for the Micro Bit through a new website that can be accessed on PCs and mobile devices.

BBC director general Tony Hall said: "We all know there’s a critical and growing digital skills gap in this country and that’s why it’s so important that we come together and do something about it."

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Micro Bit builds on the legacy of the BBC microcomputer, first released in the 1980s. BBC developed the new device with 28 partners including Microsoft, Samsung, Nordic Semiconductor, ARM, Barclays, and Lancaster University.

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