is a London-based startup created by a team of engineers from Imperial College London and designers from the Royal College of Art. SAM’s mission is to give everyone the skills to shape the Internet of Things (IoT) with fun, and functional, tools. The award-winning SAM programmable blocks are some of the most innovative educational toys for 7+ year olds to learn coding. It allows people to learn coding like cooking dinner—by adding one ingredient at a time to create something wonderful and unique.

I first met Joachim Horn, Founder and CEO of SAM Labs, a few years when I interviewed him for an article on how he sees the IoT in the next few years. Horn actually came up with the idea for SAM shortly after graduating from Imperial College London on a trip to Tokyo Institute of Technology to start a digital creative lab. He saw the market gap between simplistic toys and advanced prototyping techniques. From this, he was inspired to create a toy that made coding, electronics, and the IoT friendly and accessible to everyone.

How SAM Labs’ Blocks Work

The wireless electronic blocks connect over Bluetooth® technology to a very user-friendly application which is based on physical computing plus drag-and-drop flow-based programming. From there, you can begin to create your projects—there’s no stopping the open-ended play and creativity. Because it is so easy to use, creativity can take center stage. Using Bluetooth® technology allows SAM to overcome the use of wires. Without Bluetooth capability, the wireless blocks couldn’t connect to each other without a physical connection. Using Bluetooth allows the blocks to connect digitally making them more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.

Horn considered using other technologies in the blocks but opted for Bluetooth because it was more efficient and effective. “We chose Bluetooth as a cost-effective and efficient method of giving our blocks the wireless power they need to sync up to our app, SAM Space,” said Horn. “The Bluetooth integration works very well for us and we’re happy we went down this route. The wide availability of devices with native Bluetooth capabilities was the biggest factor in the decision. In a nutshell, it makes our product easy to use which is one of our core pillars of success.”

What the Future Holds

SAM Labs is excited about the impact its products are having, and going to have, on education. As we’ve recently seen, a lot of learning happens outside of the classroom while students remain connected. Students are also learning about technology at a much younger age. For example, two eight-year-old kids created a driverless car that detected obstacles in just over three hours. There are more than 1,000 schools already using the kits as part of regular learning or after-school programs. Because they are fun and easy to use, all learning and education happens organically.

How Audio Sharing Will Spark a New Wave of Audio Innovation

For more than 20 years, Bluetooth® technology evolved and expanded to support a wide…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Qualified Bluetooth Mesh - Unlocking the Value of the Building

Facilities managers are growing increasingly conscious that the buildings they manage need to be…

Location tracking in healthcare with the Quuppa Intelligent Locating System

Quuppa, a Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) provider based in Espoo, was founded in 2012…

Responding to In-Person Teaching Challenges with BLE Real-Time Location Services

Announcements regarding the reopening of schools have begun to appear regularly throughout the US.…

Sensor Technologies for Health, Wellness and Productivity

Navigating the landscape of COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines is a challenge for building owners…

Is Remote IOP Testing Here To Stay?

Like many organizations around the world, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has made…

Asset Tracking Post COVID-19: From Use Cases to Case Studies

In the wake of the pandemic, the need for businesses and government facilities to…

Location Tracking As One of the Emerging Technologies and Trends By Gartner

Gartner is a leading research and advisory company with a finger on the pulse…

Bluetooth® Talks: Bluetooth Technology for Lighting

In this webinar UL and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) explore: Market trends…

BLE Hard Tag Allows In-Store Shoppers to Buy Goods via Smartphone

Zliide’s new tag enables customers to capture product data by tapping a phone, complete a purchase…

Cost-Effective Solutions for End-to-End Manufacturing Visibility

Cost pressures on global manufacturers are enormous. Consolidations and driving toward higher efficiency have…

How Bluetooth® Technology is Enabling Safe Return Strategies in a COVID-19 Era

This report shares insight into how Bluetooth® technology is being leveraged by organizations of all sizes to…

Social Distancing by the Thousands: How our BT710 Makes it Easy

As more governments, schools, workplaces, and others explore options for resuming public life in…

From vehicles to vaccines (and BLE to NB-IoT): five key asset tracking use cases

FedEx has introduced a new Bluetooth based asset tracking system in time for anticipated…

Designing and Developing Bluetooth® Internet Gateways

Design and implement your own Bluetooth® Internet Gateway (BIG) working prototype and see for yourself how BIGs allow applications to exchange data with Bluetooth devices from anywhere in the world.

Setting the Record Straight on Bluetooth Security

As a follower and fan of technology news, you may have seen the occasional…

Understanding Reliability in Bluetooth® Technology

Download this detailed discussion of the issues and factors that impact the reliability of…

Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission

Learn how Philips partnered with Cassia Networks to help fight the spread of COVID-19…

Bluetooth Market Research Note - Assistive Hearables

Bluetooth Market Research Notes provide in-depth analysis of trends and forecasts highlighted in the…

Extending an ENS to Support Wearable Devices

See how an ENS can better address population groups critical to managing a pandemic…

POM Tracer Ensures Workplace Safety with Contact Tracing Solutions from Laird Connectivity

POM Tracer was looking to create an easy-to-implement product that would allow businesses and…

Smartlock Provides Unparalleled Security

As more and more devices become smart devices with internet connectivity, the urgency to…

How to Deploy BlueZ on a Raspberry Pi Board as a Bluetooth Mesh Provisioner

This step-by-step study guide will teach you: How to rebuild the kernel on a…

The Bluetooth LE Security Study Guide

Learn about fundamental security concepts, the security features of Bluetooth Low Energy, and gain some hands-on experience using those features in device code.

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

Overview – Bluetooth Technology

See how the global standard for simple, secure connection has expanded to meet the…