Monday, February 16, 2009

Great talk on Physical Computing by David Merrill

A number of years back, we created a number of prototypes like this for a game manufacturer.
Really cool stuff.

Thanks to our friends at for pointing this out.


  1. TED is pretty much the best thing ever. But that's off topic. :)
    These siftables are really cool. I'd love to see a mashup of these with Surface. You could actually replicate nearly all their functionality with those clear, tagged plastic blocks they use in the video puzzle surface demo. Then they'd have the advantage of a borderless display, although the tilting wouldn't work the same. It seems strange that I've never seen any more demos that use those blocks.

    Have you?

  2. I've played with it a bit. The underlying issue is that the acrylic blocks can create a lot of false touch events. There are a number of ways to deal with this...

    1. Choose a material with a more appropriate refraction index.

    2. Use an IR reflective coating.
    Here is an IR reflective paint:

    3. Scuff the acrylic.
    We have played with this with some level of success.