BBC Micro:Bit Release Put Off Until 2016 Due To Production Issues

BBC Micro:Bit Release Put Off Until 2016 Due To Production Issues

The pocket-sized codeable computer is BBC's most ambitious education initiative for three decades.The pocket-sized codeable computer is BBC's most ambitious education initiative for three decades. However, the release of the gizmo is now pushed to early 2016.
(Photo : BBC)

Initially calendared for release on October, Micro:Bit, BBC's tech education tool for the youth, will be rolled out in early 2016 instead.

The technology underwent rigorous testing procedures and a power supply glitch was detected. Although few units were affected, the corporation wanted to ensure the devices' quality before producing a million copies to support digital classrooms for 11 to 12 years old students, thus, a careful design revision is required.

"We're expecting to start sending them out to teachers before Christmas and to children early in the new year," said a BBC spokesman.

The device was announced in March as a tool to provide Year Seven students in the United Kingdom age-appropriate exposure to coding. The original release month of the gizmo was September; however, distribution was pushed back to October in July.

In the current schedule, the gadget will be handed out to the teachers before Christmas, and to the students after the year starts. The devices are given out for free, WIREDÂ reported.

The pocket-sized codeable computer is BBC's most ambitious education initiative for three decades. In the beginning of the 1980s, BBC launched the Micro, which introduced many children to computing.

The new advancement will feature programmable buttons, 25 red LEDs, a compass, an accelerometer, Bluetooth, and connections to a number of sensors. Micro:Bit can be used in conjunction with other similar devices, such as Kano, Â Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

BBC director general Tony Hall is hopeful that the Micro:Bit will equip the youth with the digital experience necessary to land decent jobs and become a contribution to the UK economy. The country currently lacks skilled professionals in the highly progressive tech industry.

The Micro:Bit is a collaborative project of 29 tech entities including Microsoft, Lancaster University, Samsung and Barclays. Educational materials are being provided including Code Club, Teen Tech and Cisco.

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