It will now includes a built-in speaker and microphone, enabling people to learn through sound and to get creative with it straight out-of-the-box. The hardware also includes a number of technical upgrades to ensure that in the future the device is an ideal tool for exploring, understanding and experimenting with AI and ML, as these technologies begin to transform the planet.
The new micro:bit continues to support all of the same features that teachers and students have come to love, and all the existing lessons and code for the original micro:bit will be compatible with the new device. In addition, as part of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation’s commitment to keeping the device as cost-effective and accessible as possible, the new device will be released in November at the same price point as the original.
Gareth Stockdale, CEO of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, said: “The purpose of the micro:bit is to help children unlock their creative potential and learn how to shape the world around them. Learning coding and computational thinking can enhance their life chances in the 21st century. We have worked closely with our thriving community to make it even easier to get the most out of the device both inside and outside the classroom. Getting hands-on and experimenting with the micro:bit is critical to helping children better understand important technologies early in their development, and we aim to make this as fun, accessible and affordable as possible.”
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, said: “From the very beginning the BBC’s purpose has been to inform, educate and entertain – qualities which are all reflected in the micro:bit project.
With the built-in speaker, students can take their creativity to new levels with the latest micro:bit – compose music, give projects a voice and personality or build interactive, motion-sensitive instruments. The microphone also allows the device to respond to sound – clap to control your creations or make a disco light that dances along in time with the music.
The micro:bit hardware is now powerful enough to run machine learning systems, and the Foundation will support this with new resources in the future. As the community spends more time with the device and explores the capabilities of the hardware, they can take advantage of exciting ML and AI possibilities through applications that respond to advanced patterns of sound, voice, motion or light.
With an estimated 25 million children learning with the micro:bit in over 60 countries, the pocket-sized computer continues to be truly transformational.
Comparison of V2 (left) and V1.5 (right)
For better knowledge of any privacy concerns the micro:bit V2 also has a front-facing LED which activates when the Mic is powered.
" The nRF52 application processor is where user programs run. A single, complete application including user code, runtime code and Bluetooth stack is loaded and run directly from on chip flash memory. All user accessible GPIO pins are provided by this processor. There is an onboard 2.4GHz radio peripheral used to provide Bluetooth and custom radio capabilities via an off-chip aerial."