Scrabble Flash is giftable, not yet Siftables.

SCRABBLE Flash GameThere’s the flash Apple supports and the Flash Apple doesn’t. But regardless of where you stand on the dispute between the once famously-friendly companies,you may well enjoy Scrabble Flash if you are enjoy word composition games. Even though the game is branded Scrabble Flash, the game mechanics are more akin to Boggle minus the 16-letter grid. Indeed, it is branded Boggle Flash in the UK.

Indeed, in contrast to Scrabble, Scrabble Flash isn’t played on a board at all. Rather, it consists of five chubby battery-powered tiles with monochrome displays. There are three main modes of play but all involve arranging the tiles to form words within a short amount of allotted time. It’s fun, at least for a while, and even includes a neat plastic travel box.

Perhaps more significantly for technologists, however, is that Scrabble Flash looks like an early implementation of technology in development by MIT Media Lab spinout Sifteo. It is dubbed Siftables, which the company calls the future of play. Unlike the Scrabble Flash tiles, the Sifteo prototypes have color screens and USB ports and are capable of working together in far more sophisticated ways, but there’s a big gap between what goes on in the halls of academia versus the aisles of Toys R Us. Until that time, Scrabble Flash can provide a fun taste of the future of physical interfaces.

For more on Siftables, check out this page on developer David Merrill. It includes a video of his presentation at TED.

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