Features in depth
Explore the different features on your micro:bit
Inputs and outputs
Inputs and outputs are an important part of any computer system. As a very small computer, the BBC micro:bit has plenty of inputs and outputs to learn about and use.
Watch the video to learn more about inputs and outputs, then select one of the projects to start programming the inputs and outputs on your micro:bit.
A processor is sometimes called the ‘brains’ of a computer and your BBC micro:bit has a micro processor inside it. It’s an essential part of your micro:bit as it runs the programs you write.
An LED, or light-emitting diode is an output device that gives off light. Your BBC micro:bit has a display of 25 LEDs for you to program.
Watch the video to find out more about the LEDs on your micro:bit, then choose a project to learn how to use LEDs in your programs.
Buttons are a very common input device. Your micro:bit has two buttons you can program, and a reset button.
Find out more about the buttons on your micro:bit by watching the video below, then pick one of the projects to learn how to program the buttons on micro:bit.
An accelerometer is a motion sensor that measures movement. The accelerometer in your BBC micro:bit detects when you tilt it left to right, backwards and forwards and up and down.
There are lots of ways you can use the accelerometer in your projects. Find out more about how it works by watching the video, then choose a project to get started.
A temperature sensor is an input device that measures temperature. Your BBC micro:bit has a temperature sensor inside the processor which can give you an approximation of the air temperature.
Find out more about the temperature sensor on your micro:bit by watching the video, then choose one of the projects to program the temperature sensor.
A light sensor is an input device that measures light levels. Your BBC micro:bit uses the LEDs to sense the levels of light and lets you program your micro:bit as a light sensor.
Watch the video to find out more, then choose one of the projects to turn your micro:bit into a light sensor.
A digital compass is an input sensor that detects magnetic fields. Your BBC micro:bit has an inbuilt compass that can detect the direction in which it is facing.
Watch the video to find out more, then choose a project to start using your micro:bit as a compass.
Touch logo - new
If you have the the new micro:bit, you can use the gold logo as another input in your projects. It's like having an extra button.
The touch logo uses capacitive touch, sensing tiny changes in electrical fields to know when your finger is pressing it - just like your phone or tablet screen.
You can trigger events in your programs when you press it like a button, but also when you first touch it, when you let go and if you press it for longer.
Your BBC micro:bit can be programmed to make a wide variety of sounds - from single notes, tones and beats to your own musical compositions.
Find out more by watching the video, then choose a project to start making sounds and music with your micro:bit.
Speaker - new
The new micro:bit has built-in speaker, which makes it really easy to add sound to your projects. Any micro:bit sound project will work with the speaker, but with the new micro:bit you can also express yourself with some new sounds: make your micro:bit giggle, greet you or let you know when it's sleepy or sad.
You can also mute the speaker and sound will still come out of the pins so you can still enjoy micro:bit music on headphones connected to GND and pin 0. In MakeCode, use the music block 'set on-board speaker off'.
Microphone - new
The new micro:bit has a built-in microphone. You can use it as a simple input - make your micro:bit turn the lights on when you clap. It can also measure the amount of sound, so you can make a noise level meter or disco lights that beat in time with music.
The microphone is on the back of the new micro:bit, and on the front you'll find a new microphone LED next to the hole that lets the sound in. It lights up to show you when your micro:bit is measuring sound levels.
Radio is a way of sending and receiving messages and BBC micro:bits can use radio waves to communicate with each other.
Watch the video to learn more about the radio feature on your micro:bit, then select one of the projects to try it out.
On the bottom edge of your BBC micro:bit there are 25 gold strips, called pins. These pins allow you to really get creative. You can create circuits, connect external things like buzzers and motors and make your own fun projects.
Watch the video to find out more about the pins and choose a project to take your making with micro:bit to the next level!
USBs, or Universal Serial Buses, are are used to connect, communicate and power computers and digital devices.
The BBC micro:bit has a USB interface to allow you to connect your computer to your micro:bit using a micro USB cable and power your micro:bit.
Watch the video to learn more about USB interface on micro:bit and then select one of the projects to start programming the inputs and outputs on your micro:bit.