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Now at RadioShack: Connect-Your-Stuff-to-the-Internet Kits

LittleBits used to make a Remote Pet Feeder
LittleBits used to make a Remote Pet FeederCourtesy LittleBits

RadioShack said this spring that it would attempt to shore up its crumbling retail empire by providing shelf space to crafty inventors whose gadgets might lure people into the stores. The first items will show up in stores next month, but they aren’t exactly gadgets; rather, they’re kits designed to help people make their own Internet connected doorbells and toy houses with remote controlled lights.

The idea comes from New York startup LittleBits, which makes a series of brightly colored components that can be snapped together to create Rube Goldberg machines for the digital era. The company has already been selling sets that allow users to connect, say, a small sound detector to a LED light, allowing you to illuminate a small space every time you turn on the radio. Starting Wednesday, LittleBits is selling a kit that connects these things to the Internet. It will be available in a small number of RadioShack stores in August and in 2,000 of them by the fall.