Meet the Inventor

Jeff Ivey

As we look forward to the holiday season, we’re cheered by Jeff Ivey’s littleBits and The Elf on the Shelf project!  Actually, it’s making us laugh out loud again and again! Let’s get to know Jeff Ivey and his family better…

I am based in Louisiana.

How would you describe yourself in an Ernest Hemingway-style novel? (6 words or less)
I am a technologist, husband, and father of two children.

Jeff Ivey family

What was your littleBits “a-ha!” moment?  The moment you were bitten by the littleBits bug.
My “Ah ha” moment came after I had accidentally knocked over our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, and he lost his magic!  So I thought to my self, “What can I do to fix this?”  And Boom, there was our awesomely, wonderfully, spectacular, littleBits kit….  an Elf Reanimation Kit! They were small pieces of technology, perfect for setting off anyone’s creative side, and of course, mine.

I also liked the idea that my kids could participate in electronics projects.

When starting a littleBits project, what does your design process look like?
With littleBits, I’m alway’s prototyping, so I know I don’t have to design everything perfectly up front.  I usually look for an idea around a theme – like Christmas, as in this case, and then I’ll make the idea fit the technology.  Next, I’ll implement, testing a piece of functionality at a time.  With the elf, head rotation was the first thing I tried, then I implemented the light sensor after that.

How has littleBits impacted you creatively?
We’ve all grown up with ‘building block’ kinds of components as kids, where we can build miniature houses, cars etc..  However, it’s difficult to find ‘building block’ electronics components.  These dynamic components take this kind of play to the next level.

What do you plan on inventing next?
Next, we plan on creating a littleBits non-candle driven, spinning, Christmas pyramid.

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