first_imgA new gaming device has been revealed. No, it’s not another portable gaming console like the Nintendo DS or the Sony PSP, although it is indeed portable. The new gaming products that will be on everyone’s holiday list – both kids and adults alike – are called Sifteo cubes. This next-generation toy is actually made up of little blocks that players can move around and touch to one another to create patterns, solve puzzles, and build words.There’s both an educational aspect and a purely-entertainment aspect to the Sifteo cubes. The cubes use NFC sensors and 3-axis accelerometers to sense the presence of nearby cubes, as well as any movements you make. In order to conserve energy the communication between each block uses a unique wireless prototcol. It is very short range meaning it doesn’t require much power, but still allows the blocks to communicate without a wired connection being required. As for handling processing, that’s taken care of by an ARM Cortex M3 processor embedded in each block.The set comes with a charger dock and three cubes for $149, but you can buy additional cubes for $45 each and use as many as you want together. The Sifteo kit also comes with a USB dongle that you have to plug into your computer while using the cubes. The USB dongle interacts with the cubes and the free SiftRunner app that controls the games on your cubes, in other words, you can’t use the cubes unless next to your PC as they need the link.There’s a few games included, but you can also purchase more via download from the SiftRunner program for about $5 each. The cubes work as a sort of Sudoku–Tetris–Dominoes hybrid. They definitely will make use of your spatial reasoning, and the games will use key brain powers like word-finding, and pattern-matching. Sifteo also offers multi-player strategy games, and solo arcade games.The cubes can hold up to 4 hours of play on a single charge, and the included dock can charge up to six cubes at once. Each 1.5-inch-thick cube has a clickable, full color TFT LCD display along with a number of motion sensors.Check out the video below to see the cubes in action.Sifteo cubes first appeared in 2009 when MIT grad student David Merrill demonstrated an early version of them called Siftables during a TED talk. You can see that initial introduction below:Read more at Sifteo, via VentureBeatlast_img

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