Can you imagine splitting up your computer into several small devices and manipulating them individually to suit your own taste? A clever new prototype for such a device has been demonstrated by the researchers over at MIT Media Lab. Dubbed as “Siftables”, this new prototype aims to “enable people to interact with information and media in physical, natural ways that approach interactions with physical objects in our everyday lives.” They call Siftables an “interaction platform” that gives a user entirely new ways to control data with the application of technology from wireless sensor networks to tangible user interfaces.
The technology behind Siftables is actually quite simple. It’s basically a mini computer with a 20 MHz AVR processor, full-color OLED screen, short-range infrared sensor, Bluetooth radio, tactile/haptic actuation driver circuits, a 3-axis accelerometer, built-in flash memory, rechargeable Li-Polymer batteries and expansion ports for additional sensors. So as you can see, it uses existing technology to do its new thing as if nobody ever thought of it before. It’s a new shot at organizing how you do your day-to-day computing. And personally, I think it’s a great idea so far.
As to whether or not this new technology actually becomes useful in our everyday life remains to be seen. Because judging from the video, Siftables look as though they’re only a mere novelty which would be best for kids or the occasional icebreaker. It almost makes one hope this doesn’t experience the same fate as digital photo frames, which as you might know, have become quite pointless in itself. I’m sure the creators, David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi will think something up.
Via [MIT Media Lab]