たびたびお伝えしてきた Sifteo Cube の一般販売が始まりました。Sifteo Cube はカラーディスプレイや無線通信、モーションセンサ、近接オブジェクト認識機能を備えたゲーム用ブロック。画面を押したり傾けたり、 あるいはブロックどうしを並べることで、現実のブロックと画面上のアプリ、ネットワークが組み合わさった新しい種類のゲームが楽しめます。
Sifteo Cubes は各ブロックにARMプロセッサと8MBフラッシュメモリを備えており、USB無線ドングルでPC側のソフトウェアと通信して動作します。カスタムゲームを作れるGUIアプリ Creativity Kit が付属するほか、Sifteo のサイトでは1人用から多人数用、子供向けから大人向けまでさまざまなジャンルのゲームが配布されています。直接いじれる SDKの一般公開も予定しており、メーカーの表現は「世界初のインテリジェント・プレイ・プラットフォーム」。
SIFTEO ANNOUNCES UPCOMING AVAILABILITY OF SIFTEO CUBES, THE INTELLIGENT PLAY™ PLATFORM
Sifteo Cubes Enable Truly Hands-On Interactions to Promote Creative Play and Foster Development of Key Thinking Skills for Inquisitive Kids and Imaginative Adults
San Francisco, August 11th, 2011 – Sifteo Inc today announced the upcoming general availability of its Sifteo cubes to U.S. and Canadian customers. Sifteo cubes are motion-aware 1.5-inch blocks with full-color screens that wirelessly connect with a personal computer during play to create unique interactions when shaken, tilted, rotated and neighbored next to one another. With Sifteo cubes, the company is pioneering the concept of Intelligent Play™, an evolution of entertainment and learning that combines familiar physical interactions, innovative technology and engaging titles, opening the door to new fun and social play experiences.
Sifteo has also announced the availability of the Sifteo Creativity Kit™, which is included with the purchase of every Sifteo Pack. The Sifteo Creativity Kit enables Sifteo users to customize an endless array of gameplay experiences for themselves and others using their Sifteo cubes. The Sifteo Creativity Kit lets users easily create a range of mini-games tailored to their unique interests, from learning foreign languages and ordering chemical elements by atomic weight, to word play games and number puzzles.
"Sifteo cubes are the first platform to deliver truly hands-on play, combining the latest in embedded computing and sensing technology with a timeless play style," said co-founder and CEO Jeevan Kalanithi. "We were inspired by great classic games such as Sudoku, Tetris and dominoes when we set out to create the next generation of enriching, innovative and fun games for everyone."
The highly anticipated Sifteo cubes were first previewed in prototype form at the TED Conference in February 2009 (https://sifteo.com/ted_2009) by David Merrill, Sifteo co-founder and President. After debuting the product at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company launched an Early Access program last January, resulting in several design awards and critical praise from enthusiasts and influencers alike. The company has since improved the gameplay experience, developed the Sifteo Creativity Kit, and forged partnerships with leading game and interface designers such as Scott Kim, Tyler Hinman and Stimulant, a San Francisco-based interaction design consultancy.
Parents and educators have also hailed Sifteo as a compelling education platform that promotes learning while having fun. Sifteo cubes and games encourage the development of core thinking skills - for example:
· Spatial Reasoning: Understand relationships between objects in terms of distance and orientation
· Strategy and Planning: Hone higher-level thinking and problem solving skills
· Patterns and Perception: Sort and classify items to understand trends and develop hypotheses
· Cooperation and Collaboration: Build and refine social skills to solve problems with other people
"Sifteo has designed an educational play platform that relates extraordinarily well to children of all ages," said Dr. Victoria Matthews, founder and former director of the Montessori School of Ojai, California. "There is no limit to how parents and educators can use Sifteo cubes to combine fun and learning in a unique way that engages today's digital kid."
A software development kit (SDK) will be available at launch, giving developers the freedom to create interactive games and applications for their Sifteo cubes. Game programmers, interface designers and hobbyist developers can utilize the Sifteo SDK to imagine and build new interactions that bridge physical objects and digital content, and they can soon share their creations online through the Sifteo store.
Pricing and Availability
The Sifteo Pack includes three Sifteo cubes, a Sifteo charging dock and a USB radio link which wirelessly connects the cubes to any Windows or Mac computer, enabling users to download and play the latest Sifteo games. The Sifteo Pack, priced at $149, and additional Sifteo cubes, priced at $45 each, are available for U.S. and Canadian customers to pre-order at Sifteo's website (www.sifteo.com) and will begin shipping to customers in September 2011. The Sifteo store contains a collection of fun, social and engaging titles across a spectrum of arcade, strategy, language and puzzle games, priced at $5 or less.
How To Play with Sifteo Cubes
To play with Sifteo cubes, users first install Siftrunner (Sifteo's desktop application) on an internet-connected computer, then buy and download games and apps from Sifteo's store. A USB wireless link connects Siftrunner with Sifteo cubes during play. For best performance, users should play within a few feet of the USB wireless link. In optimal conditions, the range may extend up to 20 feet.
Sifteo Inc is building the world's first platform for Intelligent Play. Sifteo has designed Sifteo cubes, a next-generation play system consisting of physical blocks with full color graphics that sense each other and their motion. Sifteo is dedicated to producing applications and games for adults and children, encouraging development of key thinking skills through fun, engaging and social games. Sifteo is located in San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit Sifteo at https://www.sifteo.com/.