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Tiny Screens offer Big Delights

Meet Sifteo cubes. Lay these in front of someone who has never seen them and you will get some surprised reactions.

Sifteo cubes are plastic white cubes that have clickable screens which can communicate wirelessly with each other.

Sifteo is considered a “gaming platform,” a technical industry term given to anything that stretches the imagination. Each set of three white tiles costs about $150, each is 1.5 inches square, a half-inch tall, and all come with a color screen.

The cool innovation from a couple of ingenious M.I.T. students has three components. The first is that they will communicate with each other wirelessly. They also can recognize when they are near each other, and they know which side is which. (They just need to be close to each other, not necessarily touching.)

Secondly, they have highly sensitive tilt sensor mechanisms. Lastly, the color screen on top is clickable.

These three aspects as a whole offer a large array of gaming options. In one game, a user guides a cartoon character down a path by manually tipping the cube to make him slide to the next one..

The down side you ask? They won’t work without a computer close by. There is a USB transmitter that must be inserted into a computer (and software downloaded) for it to function.