Meet SAM, the futuristic Lego-style tech building the next generation of thinkers

Lego has been a part of childhoods since ever, the most simplistically designed blocks fitting together to form megastructures, movies and finding them in the dark when you have no shoes on. Good times. But using the principles behind these multicoloured building blocks, a London-based design consultancy hopes to build the next generation of thinkers.

SAM Labs the independent startup behind the Internet of Thing’s toolkits, has been working with Map a creative consultancy with a strategy-led approach to industrial design, packaging design and user experience design. Map joined forces with SAM Lab’s software team to further develop the UI and build in a user-friendly to provide the friendly protective silicone jackets that encapsulate the tech within. SAM worked with the Map strategy-led design team to enhance the overall user experience, collaborating on elements of the physical hardware, user interface of the software, setup experience and applications for the SAM kits. SAM’s whole brand identity and the graphic design on the packaging was done by Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy.

Map Director Jon Marshall had this to say, “SAM’s simple, friendly and coherent user experience evolved through a deeply collaborative design process between SAM Labs and Map.”

Whilst the SAM team added: “Our vision is to empower the world’s creative potential with technology […]The choice was stellar as Map’s approach to design and values aligned with ours.”

Constructed by SAM Labs, combining hardware, software and the internet the SAM kits are wireless sensors (inputs, from buttons to thermometers) and actors (outputs, such as lights, buzzers and motors) that can sense and perform tasks. Using Bluetooth 4.0, you can setup real-time actions like switching off lights or turning on miniature devices from a range of about 20 meters. There are two types of SAMs, sensors that observe their environment and actors that perform tasks.

The SAM app helps you connect each device and shows you how they are coded together, helping you learn code and customize it. The app also connects to the internet and social media so that your entire world can be translated into your AI Lego inventions.

This has got to be a step towards building younger and younger geniuses, from a Lego home that stood and did nothing, to the SAM homes with opening garages and lighting effects, aircon and anything else you can code into your miniature home. Take a look at some of the common creations getting cooked up by the crazy ad wonderful brains out there.


GIF via FastCo
The SAM kits come in a variety of difficulties with different amounts of accessories, starting with SAM Explore. The Explore comes with x1 Buzzer, x1 Button, x1 Light, x1 Micro USB Cable, x1 Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle and a US$119,00 price tag. Next is the SAM Learn which comes with the tools to create an Internet connected robot or a newsfeed tracker, comprising of x1 Button, x1 Light, x1 Servo, x1 Slider, x1 Micro USB Cable, x1 Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle and a US$149,00 price tag. The kits go on with the Make, Pro and Family packags that all have different levels of difficulty and abilities.

Image via mapprojectoffice



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