Sifteo Cubes have clickable screens and are aware of each other; a game system in the making.
Sifteo tiles ($150) are white plastic blocks, 1.5 inches square and about a half-inch tall. Each has a color screen on the top.
The breakthrough idea, dreamed up by a pair of M.I.T. students, has three parts. First, the cubes communicate with one another wirelessly; they know when they’re next to one another, and which side is against which side. (They don’t have to be touching; they can just be close.)
Second, they have very sensitive tilt sensors. Third, the top screen is clickable.
These three simple ideas, in combination, permit a huge range of games.
SF writer Jeff Noon had a similar idea in his 2000 novel Nymphomation:
As soon as the dominoes hit the table their numbers began to change! What was once the double-six was now the the five-one. He picked up the bone, not believing what he had seen. In his hand, after two seconds, it changed again, this time to the three-one. Every two seconds brought another change...'
"Intrigued, Jimmy?" asked Malthorpe.
"It's quite simple. Max, here, invented them. We call them randominoes. Very clever; a random number generator in each piece. The dots are best thought of as rather large pixels. They light up according to the numbers generated."
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