You have been waiting a long time to hear more about Jade. The pieces of the puzzle are falling together, and the concept reveal is on the horizon. Shown above is a rough rendering of the back, subject to change. No peeking!
Patent applications have been filed, so tonight's post contains a few tidbits. The story (and renderings) are still getting the final polish.
The Broken Part
Once upon a time, a little boy received an electronics kit like the one above. He played with it day and night, building circuits that were fun. One made a noise like a woodpecker and caught the attention of the real thing.
Then, one day, he accidentally miswired an experiment. A connection that was supposed to go between spring 23 and spring 36 accidentally found its way into spring 37.
Alas, the magic smoke was released. The smell of burned transistor filled the air, and with it, the ability to build 15% of the experiments in the book. His favorite experiments. The kit went into the closet and was turned into trash a few months later.
When using Jade to learn electronics, a patent-pending system detects wiring mistakes that could damage components and prevents them from being powered.
No Second Chance
(This story is based on an article published by the IEEE relating to young girls and coding.)
Once upon a time, a little girl attended a programming class. Like many little girls in this day and age, she had been unknowingly conditioned to strive for perfectionism. She was also very brilliant.
She was given a problem to solve with code, and she set about her work. Line after line flowed creatively from her mind to the screen. She selected “Compile” and waited. There was an error in her code that she did not understand.
Too ashamed to show her imperfect work, she deleted all of it. When the teacher asked her, there was only a shrug, and the teacher assumed that she might be too young to learn computer science.
The heartbreaking part is that this story is true.
When you are using Jade to write software, real-time feedback is provided in a non-intrusive way in your work. It is similar to hitting a wrong note on the piano – you immediately know. The mistake is beneficial.
Jade is genderless. More will be said during the reveal.
Once upon a time, a little boy opened his birthday present. “Blocks that will teach me to be an engineer!” He eagerly opened it and played that afternoon. He rapidly snapped together the blocks, causing some to blink. Oh wow, a beep too! There was no wrong way to connect them. You don’t even have to try.
His mom beamed proudly each time he brought a completed creation, thinking that her son would someday change the world. By the next month, it was boxed up and in his closet. Puzzled that he was already bored with the toy, his mom checked the packaging. That new $100 kit was only designed to provide 12 hours of “learning.”
The challenges never increased as he developed his skills. But look, the company offers an expansion block set…
Products that rely on extrinsic rewards, such as lights and sounds, do not create an environment that leads to self-development. It stimulates for a bit and then it gets boring. It is pleasurable, but it does not bring happiness.
Jade does not lower the bar. It provides scaffolding, and the experiment challenge is adapted to your skill level.
The App Store
Once upon a time, a very famous company made tablet-based computers popular. Their tablet became a content delivery device. You can choose the content that you want from an app store. An app store that is very profitable – they get a cut of everything sold.
The results were amazing. In a true race-to-the-bottom fashion, amateur programmers began competing with professionals and selling their work for $0.99. Some programmers immediately saw a market for education.
There is just one little problem. Neurologically, when you are using this device, your brain is lit up in a way that resembles simultaneously solving a crossword and reading a novel: both activities suffer.
A student can end up mindlessly swiping and scrolling. The biochemical effect of smartphones and tablets resemble using cocaine.
This is not learning, but distraction. It is addictive. And it is profitable. But it is not learning.
Jade is the first of its class: a durable, sustainable, humane device explicitly designed for how people learn and develop. It is fun, and it brings happiness. Via patent-pending technology, Jade provides an optimal environment for “flow” in STEM topics and your hobbies.
Jade is a tool for building a sustainable future.
Once upon a time, a marketing machine decided that an emphasis on only STEM is not good. The emphasis should be on STEAM – with an “A” for “Art” – because STEM by itself does not enrich the student.
They did not consider that it was the devices and the methodologies that were wrong. Pushing STEM into apps and tablets gives too much to the eye and not enough to the hand. Real-time feedback is gone. Hundreds of preloaded “open source examples” lower the bar because the method does not match how people develop.
Programming IS art. The problem is that we have been handing out paint-by-number worksheets and telling our children they will be great like Picasso.
Jade is a device for learning creative problem solving regardless of age or skill level. The real-time approach achieves something that has never been done before: created programs and response latency has been brought under a subconscious threshold for our brain to perceiving something as “real.”
Neurologically, Jade is perceived as a paintbrush rather than a paint program.
Now you know some of the “what” but none of the “how.” The reveal will show you with beautiful renderings and clear diagrams.
Jade allows the real-time mixing of programming with electronics such that, in some cases, one can take the place of another. There is a synergy here, with two other elements I have not mentioned, that leads to a situation where 1 + 1 = 5. The whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
Don't forget that we are designing Jade to last for a 20 year life. And that life is not tied to Shift Sight – we do not want a “create-an-obsolete-device-because-we-need-to-sell-the-next-one” button. Jade is a tool for building a non-disposable future.
Jade is explicitly being designed to be repairable at the component level. (Most components, but not all.)
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.