Toy tiles that talk to each other - David Merrill
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- TED Talk
MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables -- cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?
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David Merrill is co-founder and president of Sifteo, a company based in San Francisco building the future of play. Sifteo's first product is Siftables: a tabletop game console made of smart tiles that combines the social and physical play patterns of classic games with the interactive potential of video games. David introduced Siftables at TED in 2009 and his TEDxMonterey talk continues to challenge our traditional ideas of play and gaming. The Inventables guys, Zach Kaplan and Keith Schacht, demo some amazing new materials and how we might use them. Look for squishy magnets, odor-detecting ink, "dry" liquid and a very surprising 10-foot pole. Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together. Here's more from her website: littleBits (spelled lower case L, upper case B, all one word) consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. Just as LEGO™ allows you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are small, simple, intuitive, blocks that make creating with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together. At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves -- while learning basic principles of science and design 3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s; TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.
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