So – what is the Big Idea over at Sifteo?
These days I’m calling it “Magical Versions of Everyday Objects.”
We want to enchant the objects we use every day with a little bit of magic. And that magic is the magic of interactivity – the book that can be any book, the pen that remembers what you wrote, the wall that responds to your gestures and displays whatever you want.
Sifteo isn’t alone in this mission. The computer for the 21st century is precisely the computer that resembles the objects we have known and used for hundreds or thousands of years. Computing power is becoming cheap enough, small enough, and sensing is becoming robust enough that we can now build computers on human terms – as opposed to building computers on a computer’s terms. In the past, we had to give computers an interface that is easy for them to understand (e.g., alphanumeric buttons), but not so easy for us to use. That restriction no longer holds.
There is a sea change happening in the computer interface, and we count products and companies like the Kindle, iPad, Kinect, Oblong, Livescribe, Fitbit and a slew of others as part of that change.
In Sifteo’s case, we care about the block, lego, domino tile – collections of inch-scale objects that, if enchanted, will understand how you are moving them and respond to those movements with image and sound.
And in Sifteo’s case, we care about play. It’s no accident that our everyday objects of choice are playthings. We believe there are huge opportunities for interactive entertainment – video games – that take the form of classic play objects, and take advantage of these objects’ play patterns. We grew up with video games, building blocks, puzzles and board games, and we love them all – and we’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible.
We’ve got a big vision, and we get to (have to) push the edge of what is possible with technology and design. Our vision and products require a heterogenous mix of extremely bright people working on extremely hard problems in electrical engineering, software theory and design, user experience, game design, art and more. Luckily, Sifteo *is* just these sort of people. (If you are this sort of person, drop us a line. You should work here.)
Can we make an interactive game system that is fun, engaging, and something you can feel good about? With some 21st century magic, yep – we think so.