Sifteo, makers of Siftables, the ingenious cookie-sized computer blocks that play together in infinitely interesting ways, has today officially gone from MIT Media Lab research project to actual company. They’re now open for business, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer to actually get your hands on some. Nonetheless, we’re excited.
Siftables, which you may have already seen featured on PopSci’s Future Of on the Science Channel), are computerized blocks that can communicate wirelessly, sense their orientation and proximity to other blocks, and display an image. Those seemingly simple attributes enable a nearly endless range of gaming and other interactive possibilities.
Siftables blocks can transmit music cues to each other to become musical instruments, display letters or numbers for educational games, or interact with a console to become the controllers for a larger gaming system. By giving physical form to abstract data, the blocks bridge the gap between physical and virtual. It’s best explained and demonstrated by creator David Merrill himself at last year’s TED conference:
You can follow Sifteo’s developments at their newly launched site, but frankly, there are only two questions I need answered: where can I get them, and how soon?