The sensors in the two versions of the blocks provide the user with the same experience, says Sifteo cofounder Jeevan Kalanithi, though the company has changed the way certain features work. For example, the Media Lab blocks sense neighboring blocks via infrared, but Sifteo has replaced that system with electromagnetic sensors.
Andrew Rollings, a developer known for his writing on game design, says that the blocks are a very interesting concept, though probably challenging to design for. And the features they already have inspire a wish list of more. He says, “I’d like to see touch sensitivity to complement the existing tilt and proximity sensitivity, as well as an increase in the number that can be used together.” If the cost isn’t prohibitive, he adds, they’d be even more appealing with screens on more than one side.
To allow third-party developers to experiment with the platform, Sifteo has also created a software development kit, which it expects to release later this year.
Smaller design teams can now prototype and deploy faster.