Sifteo Cubes

What if you interacted with computers the same way you play with dominos?

Born From a TED Talk

David Merrill spent part of his graduate studies at MIT Media Lab wrapping his head around one big question. What were we loosing by eschewing our physical spatial skills for digital? What could we gain by ditching the keyboard and mouse for a more natural system? His answer was a basic version of Sifteo Cubes that he presented to the world through a TED Talk in 2008. The idea was a hit and new start-up was born.

Handtools for the Digital Age

Sifteo Cubes are the blocks you’d expect Judy and Elroy Jetson’s to play with. Spell words with them, complete math problems, compose music or help your avatar find their way through an enchanted forest. Each Cube is a wireless mini-computer that is connected, aware of its surroundings and each other. We helped the young start-up refine the initial rudimentary concept to create a market ready product that kept all of its magical whimsy and charm.

Made Right. Kid Friendly

We immersed ourselves in sketching, board layouts, charging and carrying solutions for the tiny cubes. Sculpting hundreds of physical foam models helped us craft a cube you want to reach out, grab and not let go of. Solid materials and chamfered edges create a robust product with a familiar feel. A slightly recessed screen allows the cubes to stack while preventing unwanted button presses. Finally, we turned the charging dock into a carrying case so you can charge six blocks simultaneously and game where you want. Smart.

Packin' a Punch

To wrap it up we developed a playful and communicative showcase for the young company’s first ever product. Lively graphics and color pops beneath Cubes grab one attention while smartly and securely holding them and their docking station in place. Layered graphics throughout create a unboxing experience of fun discovery, fitting the playful brand.

Mambo! Rhumba!

A distinct design language for Cubes inspired by iconic dance step patterns acts as a common thread between multiple packaging types. The dancing pattern mirrors the interactions that take place when one plays with Cubes and provides a carefree element of storytelling to Cubes Packaging.

Rippling Results

Cubes, now on their second generation, are being sold at stores across the country and used in unimaginable ways. Schools have game development meet-ups after hours where young developers get to stretch their brains around Cubes endless possibilities. Cubes ‘App Store’ has helped spawn an industry, from heavy hitters bringing Magic the Gathering to the small screens to independents turning Cubes into Award Winning musical interactions to learning tools helping special needs children learn.

American Graphic Design Award
CES Innovations
GOOD Design
GOOD Design
IDEA Silver