MIT Siftables case study formal page
It seems to me that if you had a large set of these developed, with each one programmed to represent a different element in the periodic table, you could do a lot in chemistry with them.
This is a great eye-hand interface, with tremendous potential for instant connections. What are the limits, such as capacity of each tile/building block? It seems that tools such as this can be adapted or enhanced and customized for many applicaitons in science, math, even economics and social sciences.
I first encountered these in the TED talk (www.ted.com/talks/david_merrill_demos_siftables_the_smart_blocks.html) and was blown away. There's hardly an element in the school curriculum where Siftables couldn't serve as a tangible, malleable and engaging tool. Chemistry and math certainly leap to mind, but population biology and evolution is perhaps most intriguing for me.
I'm finding myself wondering what direction these objects have taken since that TED talk--which is amazing, by the way. Maybe the people running this site could invite David Merrill to join this discussion (that way Gary's question could answered as well)? I agree with David that you could use these things for virtually any part of any curriculum, but unless they are basically free, I think the creators are going to need to focus on in-school and out-of-school "pain points" in the curriculum that these blocks can be especially useful to address, either natively or because there aren't any really good alternatives, and I wonder what those pain points are. Side note to David: you've really piqued my curiosity--I'm sure if I thought about it enough I could figure it out myself, but I'm dying to know how you'd use Siftables in pop bio and evolution...
This reminds me of nanotechnology.
Particularly, the "constellations " of nanorobots (or 'nanite' swarms) comprising of minute robot/processing nodes that can cooperatively function as a whole... etc. Very interesting indeed. Great application of the concepts behind future science and technology. Converging technologies (NBIC's integration methodology) is clearly demonstrated here.
Hi and pardon my question if it is off topic or incorrect. this type of interface is not my expertise.
I would like to know if I were working with these siftables in one location would they be connected to a set that someone where using elsewhere?
Siftables in the news--check out this article in the New York Times about them: