Minecraft is an excellent way to lose dozens of hours engineering virtual buildings and machines, but now an interesting new company has devised a way to bridge those digital creations into our physical world.
LittleBits is an invention studio that specializes in smart, connected toys, and it has begun offering a mod that empowers community creators to activate in-game machines with real-world switches and electronics in Minecraft. The product is called CloudBit. It starts at $100, and it is available now. In conjunction with the BitCraft mod, Minecrafters can use redstone — a key item for building complex machinery — to control items from a set of circuits, chips, and dials. Players can use this tech to set up doors that only open when you use the Cloudbit switch. All of this is yet another amazing example of how developer Mojang’s block-building phenomenon, which has surpassed 75 million copies sold across consoles, PC, and smartphones (and is out on Wii U tomorrow), is so flexible and so popular that it can spin off businesses in its own cottage industries.
Naturally, LittleBits is working with Minecraft YouTube personality TheDiamondMinecart to showoff how it works, and you can check it out in the video below:
As with all things Minecraft, CloudBit is simple to get started with but it can empower creators to do some unbelievably complex things. Once you get the starter kit, you can piece it together however you like depending on the function you want it to serve. The various parts of the starter kit — along with the Gadgets and Gizmos expansion all connect together with a magnetic snap. This makes construction instantaneous and simple to encourage experimentation. Once built, players can connect their CloudBit invention to a wireless network.
To get that device connected to a Minecraft session, however, you’ll need to craft a CloudBit gateway, which is what comes with the mod. Once built, you’ll see a green light when the in-game piece is connected to a real-world device. From here, your only limit is your creativity.
One of the neatest examples that LittleBits talks about a bit on its website is an alarm system for your Minecraft home. You can set it up so that if someone enters your house on a Minecraft server, your real-world CloudBit will buzz or light up.
Of course, as with all things Minecraft, players will continue building bigger and more impressive creations — and we’re looking forward to see what the community does next.