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."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/10/2011)
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