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Innovation By Design

A Modular System That Lets You Create Your Own Gadgets

Nascent Objects makes snap-together parts for budding inventors to experiment with.

Their own devices: With the mix-and-match system she helped create, Victoria Slaker is encouraging budding tech innovators.

[Photo: Timothy O’Connell]

If you’re someone who’d rather invent a new device than get the latest thingamajig at Best Buy, Nascent Objects can help. The California-based company, working with design firm Ammunition, has built a modular system that lets anyone make their own electronics. Using a broad assortment of parts—batteries, cameras, sensors, and so on, as well as software to run everything—makers can snap together products for fun or as marketable prototypes. "We designed the components to have individual value as discrete, smart puzzle pieces that can be easily rearranged into a myriad of devices," says Ammunition’s VP of product design, Victoria Slaker, who spearheaded the project with Nascent CEO Baback Elmieh. "Iteration can happen quickly and inexpensively." Nascent has prebuilt a few examples, such as a water-use sensor called the Droppler. The rest is up to users’ imaginations.

Click here for the 2016 Innovation by Design Awards finalists and winners.

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