Sifteo, a table-top game startup, is announcing today that it has begun selling intelligent blocks known as Sifteo Cubes. These devices are like little dominoes with displays on one side.
The cubes are wireless, motion-aware 1.5-inch blocks with full-color screens that create unique interactions when moved, tilted, rotated and placed next to one another. Merrill referred to this as “intelligent play,” inspired by games such as dominoes, Tetris, and Sudoku. The devices are really embedded computers, armed with ARM Cortex M3 processors. Merrill said Sifteo created its own wireless protocol so the blocks could talk to each other within a range of a few inches, without consuming too much power. The blocks can connect to a USB stick on a computer within about a 20-feet range. The batteries last about four hours.
The Sifteo Cubes are a clever creation, but will consumers pay for them? You pay $149 for three Sifteo Cubes and $45 for each additional one. Downloadable games cost around $5. If the idea takes off, Sifteo will succeed in creating a new form of entertainment that combines video games, physical board games, building blocks and toys. It may be a tough sell, but there’s no doubt that the company has something very creative on its hands.
► These look pretty cool. Something a bit different and sort of sci-fi (ish) gaming. Almost see it being played in Tron (pre-light bike races) :)