Siftables: Little Computers that do a lot

by Mark R

I realize that what you are seeing in this picture does not look like much, but the Siftables could easily be the wave of the future. Siftables are tiny, cookie-sized computers with a singular display and motion sensor. Each of them has a wireless communicator and they are able to detect other Siftables.

I have included a YouTube video so you can see them in action. You will note that when the user can groups Siftables together, that there are all sorts of applications. For example, you can create “virtual blocks” that can seriously do the math. I’m not even going to try to describe that, you have to see that on the video.

Another application for the youngsters is the ability to line up different Siftables to create an interactive story. I guess that’s good enough for the kids, but can the grown-ups do anything with it?

Yes. If you look at the picture, you can see that someone is mapping out some sort of computer program with the Siftables. By the way, you can also play a Boggle-type game with a handful of these Siftables.

Personally, I think these Siftables are downright nifty, and I wouldn’t mind owning a few myself. This is presently a work in progress from David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi at the MIT Media Lab, but they hope to have them readily available for consumer use “soon”.


2 reviews or comments

Fate Says: April 12, 2009 at 5:40 am each siftable programmed for only one thing, i wonder, or can you reprogram each to be something else each time. as in each and every ‘block’ has every capability available or is each set to be only one ‘type’ of siftable?

the music one seems interesting, but i think even if they add more ‘abilities’, overall they’d make a good – educational or otherwise- toy for kids seeing as i tire og things (new or old) easily^^

i like the video though. food for thought^^

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