Interactive and Intelligent Play with Sifteo Cubes

August 18, 2011

3:16 pm

It’s only August, but I already have one item on my Christmas Wish List for this year. While watching this video about Sifteo Cubes, I thought to myself, “Ooh, I want that!”

Created by San Francisco-based Sifteo, the Cubes are motion-aware blocks with full-color screens that wirelessly connect with your  computer to create fun interactions when shaken, tilted, rotated and neighbored next to one another.  The blocks are equipped with 1.5-inch displays that allow for touch and motion game content. Players move the cubes around to accommodate what’s happening on the screens. The Sifteo Pack also includes a bundled “Creativity Kit,” so players can make up their own games.

“Sifteo cubes are the first platform to deliver truly hands-on play, combining the latest in embedded computing and sensing technology with a timeless play style,” said co-founder and CEO Jeevan Kalanithi. “We were inspired by great classic games such as Sudoku, Tetris and dominoes when we set out to create the next generation of enriching, innovative and fun games for everyone,” he said.

Parents and educators have praised Sifteo as a compelling education platform that promotes learning while having fun. The Sifteo cubes and games encourage the development of core thinking skills such as spatial reasoning, strategy and planning, patterns and perception, and cooperation and collaboration. And, the cubes are just plain fun for both digital kids and grown-ups alike.

The sleek, palm-sized Cubes are just asking to be grabbed and rearranged, as Sifteo has done a nice job of integrating sensory branding into its product’s appeal. The Cubes were first previewed in prototype form at the TED Conference in February 2009, and they debuted at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with an Early Access program last January.

Now, for $149.99, you can pre-order the Sifteo Pack, which includes a trio of Cubes, a charging hub and a 2.4 Ghz wireless USB adapter for connectivity and for transferring Sifteo apps purchased on your computer. Additional Sifteo Cubes are priced at $45 each. Orders will begin shipping to customers in September, and you can buy arcade, strategy, language and puzzle games for $5 each or less from the Sifteo store.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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