The History of Kano — Our Products

In November 2012, Kano’s CEO Alex Klein’s cousin proposed a simple yet radical idea that would come to form the foundations of Kano as we know it.

Since that day, we have released many different variations of our core hardware, countless revisions of our OS, and a great selection of kits and add-on accessories.

To celebrate our eight year anniversary, this week we want to share with you our history. These are our products since day one. Let us know which one was your favourite.

April-August 2013 — The Kano Prototype

Unlike the beautiful orange boxes we know today, this was a simple white box, a simple small black USB keyboard, some prototype booklets, cables, a case, Pi 1, an SD card loaded with an early version of the Raspbian OS. Only 200 of these were ever made and they sold out by word of mouth alone.

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December 2013 — Christmas Special

A $23 Kickstarter pledge for Christmas which was just the books and an early preview Christmas-themed OS -Kano MincePi- on an SD card for those who already had a Pi, this was limited to a run of 1000 kits.

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September 2014 — The Kano Kit

This is the one funded by Kickstarter, the first iteration of the kit as we know it, Pi1 B, 18,000. Which included:

  • Kano protective box and sleeve
  • 8GB micro SD card with SD card adapter, loaded with v1.x.x of the Kano OS
  • Kano Bluetooth Keyboard and white RF dongle
  • Pi 1 Model B
  • Pi 1 Model B Kano case and case lid accessories
  • Green wifi dongle
  • Kano case speaker
  • Red power cable and EU/UK/US relevant plug
  • Yellow HDMI cable
  • Two Kano Instruction story booklets
  • Selection of Kano sticker sheets
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September 2014 — Kano Keyboard Kit

A hugely popular pledge request during our Kickstarter campaign, simply a Kano keyboard bundle for those people who already had a Pi but wanted to be a part of our Kickstarter.

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January 2015 — The Gold Kano Kit

A Kano kit with a gold-colored sleeve, a piece of history made to thank all the Kano employees who had worked on the Kano project, only 50 ever made.

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February 2014 — The Kano Kit

Now upgraded to Pi 1 B+ — four USB ports instead of two, with much better power management, also the Pi now had a Micro SD card slot instead of a full SD card slot.

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May 2015 — The Kano powerup kit

Only 500 made, designed as an upgrade to the first kit which turns the Pi1 from the first kit into a programmable LED board while making use of old speaker and keyboard by providing a blue riser bumper to raise the height of the speaker to work with the new Pi2 included in the powerup kit.

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May 2015 — The Kano Kit

The Pi2 version of our base kit.

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November 2015 — The Screen kit

Kano’s first delve into the world of screens. Which included:

  • Kano Screen Kit Box and Yellow sleeve
  • Kano Screen Kit Instruction story booklet
  • Kano screen panel
  • Kano screen panel case
  • Kano screen driver board cover
  • Kano screen button assembly
  • Kano screen button ribbon cable
  • Kano short yellow HDMI cable
  • Double-ended red power cable
  • Pixel inspector magnifier
  • Kano sticker sheets
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March/April 2016 — The Kano Kit

The Pi3 version of our base kit. This was one of the biggest changes to our core product since the switch to the B+, the Pi3 had onboard wifi and Bluetooth which meant we no longer needed to package a separate wifi dongle, also the Pi3 was 50% faster than Pi2.

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June 2017 — Pixel Kit Kickstarter edition

In September 2016, we launched our second Kickstarter campaign, this campaign was our first step away from our Raspberry Pi based experience we have been renowned for. These kits work are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Kano OS’s.

The Kickstarter version of our Pixel Kit differs from the retail version in a few key areas:

  • The PCB in the Kickstarter Kit is a microcomputer, and capable of storing and running games, apps, and internet-connected creations that you have made in Kano Code as a standalone device.
  • The Kickstarter kit has no onboard memory and relies on an 8GB micro SD card (included).
  • The Kickstarter version includes a separate USB tilt sensor.
  • A push power button (retail is a slide power button).
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July 2017 — Pixel Kit retail edition

The retail version of our Pixel Kit, this kit differs from the Kickstarter Pixel Kit in a few key ways:

  • The PCB in the retail pixel kit is a micro-controller, and capable of storing and running animations as a stand-alone device. To run apps, games, and internet connected creations, you need to be tethered to your computer by a USB cable, or Wi-Fi
  • The retail pixel kit contains 16MB of onboard memory as opposed to a separate SD card.
  • No USB Tilt Sensor
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August 2017 — Motion sensor kit

Our simplest and most affordable kit so far, compatible with Kano, Windows, and Mac OS’s via the Kano Code application. The USB sensor detects movement in front of/above the sensor's receptacle.

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September/October 2017 — Kano Kit Lite

Known as the CKL/CK17 — The Pi3 version of our Kano kit, no longer with a speaker, but instead replacing the speaker with a light ring and a power button.

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November? 2017 — Kano Computer Kit (Argentina)

This was an Argentinan-specific version of our kit which came with a Spanish layout keyboard and a custom version of our OS which had a large portion of the OS translated to Argentinian Spanish.

November 2017 — The Computer Kit Complete

Our first complete computer kit contains all the basics you need to get started straight away, all in one package. Including:

  • Computer Kit Complete Box
  • Screen
  • Screen case
  • Pi3 computer and case mount
  • Speaker and case mount
  • USB Microphone
  • USB hub and case mount
  • Power button board
  • Battery and case mount
  • Short red internal power cable
  • Long red internal splitter power cable
  • Long red external power cable
  • Red power adapter
  • HDMI cable
  • Cable tidy case mount
  • 8GB Micro SD card and adapter
  • Instruction story booklet
  • Stickers
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September 2018 — The Computer Kit Touch

An advancement of our computer kit complete, now with a touchscreen!

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October 2018 — The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

Our fantastic Harry Potter Potter Kano Coding Kit, a wand kit that you can build yourself and code on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.

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November 2019 — Star Wars & Frozen Sensor Kits

A limited edition version of our Sensor Kits, themed for the release of Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker. These sensor kits are compatible with Kano, Windows, and Mac OS’s via the Kano Code application. The USB sensor detects movement in front of/above the sensor’s receptacle.

June 2020 — Kano PC

A Windows computer for the next generation. Use powerful Windows apps, as well as unique and creative Kano apps. Learn to code step-by-step, see how your computer works, spark your imagination, and create your own art, games, music, and more.

The Kano PC is open and transparent, so it builds your skills and understanding of technology. It’s sturdy, click-in, click-out parts increase device lifetime, and status lights reveal what’s happening inside.

Kano Accessories — Mouse, Headphones and Webcam

Our entry into the technology accessory market. Allowing our customers to build their own headphones, computer mouse and laptop webcam. All coming in recyclable packaging and easy to assemble. Innovative and stylish, the accessory line is our cheapest product to date.

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That is it. For now. But we can promise you one thing, we won’t be stopping just yet. The future is Kano. The best kind of screen time.

Let us know what you think of our products on social media.

The good kind of screen time. Computers and software for a new generation.

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