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BBC micro:bit Final Design Revealed, Free for Year 7 Students

The final design for the BBC Micro Bit (stylized as “micro:bit”) educational miniature computer system has been unveiled by the broadcaster, showing off the new features implemented since the prototype was shown earlier this year.

The BBC micro:bit is a tiny programmable computer system intended to introduce coding skills to school kids that will be given to all pupils of Year 7 age (around 11-12) for free. Kids are encouraged to learn to “express themselves digitally” by writing programs for the device through the micro:bit website, which can then be sent to the micro:bit itself.

The new micro:bit has lost the watch battery slot found on the prototype, instead sourcing its power through either a USB connection to another device or a via separate battery pack add-on in order for it to act as a standalone device.

The system, which uses 25 LED lights to simulate a basic screen, now comes with an accelerometer to track whether the device is being shaken, moved, or tilted, as well as Bluetooth functionality, a pair of programmable buttons and more.

A particularly interesting feature of the micro:bit’s hardware is its “input-output rings” that allow the Micro Bit to connect to and work in tandem with other micro computer systems such as the popular Raspberry Pi in order to carry out more complex tasks, as the BBC reports.

The micro:bit system seems to be a successor to the previous cornerstone of the BBC’s computing legacy, the BBC Micro, released back in 1981.

Take a look at the BBC’s full press release here.