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What do you get when you take multi axis accelerometers, haptic vibration feedback, wireless connectivity, 4-channel audio and 54 multi-color LEDs and roll it into a handheld cube? A unique gaming experience unlike any other of course. What? You didn't know that?
ThinkGeek worked with our European friends Princip to produce this super cool gaming toy of the future. How does it work? Hard to explain but we'll try.
The Futuro Cube senses rotation and tapping on any side. It can vibrate, play audio and dynamically change it's LED colors across any face of the cube to provide feedback. A dozen built in games then take advantage of these controls. What's more, buy two cubes and they can interact together. Not enough? Wait for the software development kit coming out later this year and program your own applications.
Here are some of the tech tricks your Futuro Cube can do:
Determine gravity This feature is used for Gravitap and Rotoselect functionality, and has a lot of other uses. Ever played the classic game Snake? Imagine playing it on The Cube controlling the Snake using a tap – whenever you tap the Cube, the snake goes down.
Motion tracking The Cube tracks your motion to recognize patterns that are used as a game input. For example, to reset the cube, use a circular gesture.
Tapping The Cube's accelerometer can determine when you tap it. It also recognizes what particular side your tapped and whether this side was on top, bottom or one of the lateral sides.
Diode coloring Each side of the Cube contains 3x3 RGB color LED lights matrix, 18 LED lights total. Each point can shine one or both colors with varying intensity or not shine at all, giving three color options to design games with. Imagine Rubik's cube with only three colors. To solve it you need to have the same colors on opposite sides.
Sound The Cube can play sounds and voice clips, too! Any game information like how to play, game feedback or your score can be conveyed audibly.
Built in are a dozen different games you can play out of the box
CUBRIS: Similar to Tetris on a cube. Tap on a side to rotate the piece; tap from the top to place the piece. If you fill a side, that side disappears, if you create a ring around the cube, the ring disappears. If you do it with same color, bonus!
GOMOKU: Try to beat the cube at a futuristic version of tic-tac-toe. This is a classic five in a row on the cubic surface. The special rule is that diagonals of opposite sides are connected.
SNAKE: Eat as many apples as you can without eating yourself. The snake is turning so that it is always moving towards the top. Green poisoned apples make you go straight for a while. Unfortunately, you have to eat them anyway.
RING DREAM: This is a very delicate and motion sensitive game for long-romantic evenings. No, actually this is a very easy rotation puzzle that everybody can solve. Just select the ring by rotating the cube and then by tapping, twist the ring. The ring will rotate one spot for each tap. Once every side has same color, you are done!
ROAD RUNNER: Keep the Road runner on the top side. The faster you follow, the faster he moves. If you are not fast enough, he waits for you, but you lose your speed and distance. Try to go as far as possible.
MULTI GOMOKU: Five in a row for two players with two cubes. It has the same rules as Gomoku.
GRAVITY PUZZLE: The Gravity puzzle is a lovely classic cube-based rotation puzzle. You need to get each color on its own side. All transfers are made by side tap and top tap.
GRAVITY CHALLENGE: This is a very relaxing game. You only work with the top side and spots love falling down if they can. Try to tap! You have to collect all the spots with the same color to one uniquely colored connected area.
PIANO: Welcome to our musical challenge. Expect lots of practice and try to be precise by hitting the center of sides! You have always 6 tones available for each rotation of the cube, therefore just playing the full scale can be very difficult. Once you master a complicated piece, share it on internet!
MULTI CUBRIS: Have you mastered CUBRIS for one player? Then here is the right challenge for you and one of your friends. Connect your cubes, and you will receive the same set of pieces to place. Time is running and you must survive, otherwise your score is not counted! If you finish faster, you gain some points for your opponent's laziness… However, what if he placed the pieces slower but smarter?
SOKOBAN: The classic computer game on a Futuro surface. It makes perfect sense to play this game on a cube, because you can always move it aside (wink, wink). We’ve prepared the mazes, your goal is to move the bricks to the right spots! You change your position by rotating the player on the top and then by tapping on the sides. If you want to take your move back, just tap the opposite side of the player.
DREAM QUEST: Ready your brain to serve as a display unit. Each time you reset this game, a new random maze is generated. But you never see the maze! You walk through the maze, by rotating cube like you would do if you were a walking cube. If you hit a wall, the cube will let you know. Find all sound spots and then make your journey from the lowest sound spot to the highest. You have to go in order otherwise you fail your quest. You can play this with closed eyes, but if you open them there is a small hint ready for you.