Gift Ideas for Kids: ATOMS Smart Building Blocks

December 9 2013, 9:19 AM

Hoping to earn the title of coolest aunt or uncle this season? Check out ATOMS: The come-to-life building blocks launched by Boulder startup Seamless Toy Company. ATOMS help kids narrow the gap between what they can dream up and what they can build. The colorful matchbox-sized blocks are sensors and motors that make inanimate objects (LEGOs, wood, and plastic toys) move—or even blow up.

Each color-coded block is equipped with wired communication transmitters. Yellow blocks sense, red blocks power, and blue blocks do. How does it work? Strap a yellow control knob, a blue earthquake block, and a red battery to a Barbie car. Crank up the control knob and watch the car quake.

Founder Michael Rosenblatt—a former Apple designer—believes that kids as young as six can master ATOMS within minutes. Parents can purchase starter sets ($39.99-$119.99), or individual ATOMS (prices begin at $9.99) to make other toys accelerate, jump, rumble, and shake.  

To kick things up a notch, the toy company has launched an iOS App that allows kids to control their creations with Bluetooth-enabled iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Virtual ATOMS, on the screen, can be used to control the real ATOMS across the room. Remember that Barbie car example? Well, instead of turning the control knob, little ones can simply tap the blocks on their screen to make car go. If only teaching kids to drive as teenagers would be that easy.

—Image courtesy of Seamless Toy Company