The Siftables are a prototype independent unit computer interface control system.
The Siftables were inspired, according to co-inventors David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi from MIT, by observing the skill humans have at sifting, sorting and manipulating small physical objects. Siftables are small, self-contained input / display devices wirelessly linking together to form an independent mini-network, or a control system for a PC.
David Merrill says, "Siftables are independent, compact devices with sensing, graphical display, and wireless communication capabilities. They can be physically manipulated as a group to interact with digital information and media. Siftables can be used to implement any number of gestural interaction languages and HCI applications."
The Siftables can sense their neighbors allowing for topological arrangements. Each Siftable unit contains a short range infrared communicators, a 3-axis accelerometer, Bluetooth radio, flash memory, an integrated processor, a lithium polymer battery, some haptic hardware, and USB expansion ports. This stuff is really out there! The YouTube video is extremely interesting.