This Week’s Must-Haves: Lego’s App-Connected Kit Teaches Kids About Coding

This week, the Adweek staff is highlighting an app-connected Lego robotics kit, Nespresso's smart espresso maker and more. Take a look!


Lego Education WeDo 2.0 Core Set, $159

What do you get when you mix building blocks, robotics and coding? The answer is WeDo 2.0, Lego's app-connected construction kit that helps elementary school-aged kids learn important STEM skills under the guise of, well, playing with Legos. Each WeDo system comes with a Bluetooth-enabled Smarthub, rotating motor, and tilt and motion sensors, all of which can be programmed through Lego's easy-to-use, icon-based app for computers and tablets. The software includes instructions for building things like Milo the Science Rover (which teaches kids about real-life space rovers) and a Drop and Rescue vehicle (which requires kids to design a device that reduces the impact on humans and animals after a weather-related disaster).

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ThinOptics Glasses and Pouch, $25

For those more inclined to lose their reading glasses than their phones, here's a perfect solution: super-slim ThinOptics glasses, which fit neatly into a credit-card-size pouch that attaches to the back of your iPhone (or computer, wallet, or pretty much any other hard surface). They're available in three strengths and an array of colors, and claim to fit securely on noses of all sizes.

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Boomstick, $99

Add some oomph to even the crappiest earbuds with Boomstick, a diminutive gadget that claims to improve the sound of literally anything it's plugged into. When connected to any pair of headphones and audio source, the device funnels the sound through a proprietary algorithm that boosts bass, enhances detail, optimizes frequencies and more.

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Nespresso Prodigio, $249

Time to add yet another kitchen gadget to the growing list of connected appliances. The Nespresso Prodigio syncs with an app that not only lets you brew a perfect cup of espresso in Bluetooth range, but also tells you when it's time to order new capsules or descale your machine.

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Nanoleaf Bloom, $40

Touted as the world's first dimmable bulb that doesn't need a dimmer, the Nanoleaf Bloom lets you control the brightness in any lamp or fixture without the need for electrical rewiring or an app. Just flip the fixture's switch to get the light fading up, and then switch it on and off again to lock in the desired brightness. While it's pricier than your average bulb, its nearly 28-year lifespan ensures you won't worry about replacing it for a long, long time.

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EcoSphere Pod, $55

Whether you're a less than proficient pet owner or just looking to add a bit of sea life to your desktop, look no further than EcoSphere's sleek glass pod. The enclosed ecosystem contains marine shrimp, algae and other micro-organisms that are totally self-sufficient, with an average life span of two to three years. All you have to do is sit back and watch nature do its thing.

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This story first appeared in the March 14 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.