If you have been following along, you'll know that our time to do tactical work on Jade has been limited lately. It is the perfect opportunity for strategic and contemplative work.
A time for a moment of Clarity.
You've Already Met
Clarity is depicted at the bottom of the Jade page. In that incarnation, it is shown as a preliminary 2D drawing. Most of the public emphasis has been on Whisper, a beginner's board. If you were ever curious, Whisper was given that codename because it does not need to make a lot of noise to be heard: there is no substitute or direct competition on the market.
To switch to writing about Clarity so abruptly may seem a bit out of place. By design, Clarity fits into the market segment that has the most competition: the Arduinos, the Raspberry Pis, etc. As you might have guessed, its codename reflects Shift Sight's intention to bring clarity to the unsustainable, disposable chaos.
Clarity is depicted as ages 12 and up on the drawing. Considering the swath of reports being published about the state of the planet, we will likely launch Clarity to support ages 10 to adult.
Why the change?
From my vantage point, children are becoming increasingly worried about the state of our planet. As they do not have any legal standing in determining environmental policies, protest is their only tool. Protest has long been the only means for a powerless or semi-powerless group of people to effect change.
“When small [children] begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.”
– Liu Yutang
We are lowering Clarity's minimum age to benefit more children. What is shown on the Jade page was simply a concept, so look forward to a more detailed reveal when the website redesign is published.
To me, it is horrifying to find mass-produced electronics kits on Amazon and read reviews where a parent gives the kit an exceptional rating because their kid destroyed component after component, [didn't learn why this was happening,] but the kit included a lot of spares, so it was a great experience.
A lot of these kits are meant for ages 10 and up.
What would you do to keep these parts out of the trash?
Like everything from Shift Sight, Clarity is a piece of the bigger puzzle: a core part of our plan to rewrite an industry and change how a generation thinks about electronics.
Even if children wanted to learn about sustainable electronic design, there is no guidance from industry. There is simply a unified message awash in profiteering -- a belief that we have an infinite supply of raw materials for electronics; infinite energy, water, and resources for production; and a lie that they do not cause harm during manufacture, use, or disposal.
(Two of our answers to the 'use' concern is greener circuit boards, including BFR/CFR-free FR-4, combined with on-screen reminders of hand-washing after you have completed using the boards. Most people do not even know about what they are handling when they touch circuit boards.)
There is another reason to talk about Clarity.
Whisper is meant for a very young age group. To be honest, I had reservations about putting out a product for such young learners. I rationalize Whisper this way: it is for parents that want to expose their children to electronics at a very young age. There is no equivalent product.
The latest warnings from the AAP state that conventional electronic toys are inappropriate for young children. Of course, the statement will not resonate with all parents, so Whisper is positioned as a humane and developmentally correct substitute for the computers, tablets, phones, etc. for this age group. It is for parents that believe their children need this exposure.
I began learning how to program at the age of 8. I see benefit from starting early, but I believe that Jade should definitely be balanced with activities that historically have promoted proper development.
Shift Sight is planning to launch Jade with up to four carriers available. Whisper and Clarity will be joined by one that will promote interoperability with existing products -- it is imperative that Jade, from day one, extend the lifespan of what people already own to keep those products from going into the trash.
The fourth is a momentary secret, to be revealed in a video.
Shift Sight will not achieve any of its goals without your support, so it goes without saying that we want to hear from you. Our market research and nationally-conducted poll has guided us to this starting line.
Your support will make sure that Shift Sight can finish what we have started. There is far too much on the line.
See you next week!
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.