Sifteo and Scrabble Flash

These tiles will sense and ID tiles that are adjacent to each other.

On the Sifteo site it mentions proprietary near field sensing technology. How does it work? Does each side of the tile have some sort of reader and communication device?

UPDATE I think that there's a proximity switch on each side and when another tile is brought close to it; the switch activates a directional radio for each tile so that tiles can transmit information. This is all just a guess.

How can you design a radio that transmits only at short distances? You don't want the signal to go further because it might interfere with other tiles communicating.


Scrabble Flash, or Boggle Flash, as it's called here, uses infra-red to communicate between tiles.

I took mine apart and took some photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54388270@N04/sets/72157625390551633/

  • \$\begingroup\$ IR is a novel, inexpensive and low power way to do this. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom Paris
    Apr 29 '12 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ That totally makes sense from a cost perspective. Great job Joby! \$\endgroup\$
    – milesmeow
    Apr 29 '12 at 17:04

It uses magnetic field to detect proximity. Each side of the cube has a coil (inductor) which is pulsed with a specific code that the neighboring cube can detect through its corresponding coil and thereby identify the particular cube and side of cube that is next to it.


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