I was checking out a BoingBoing post on LED puzzle blocks which look pretty awesome in themselves. But there’s a footnote that links to a Sony project called BlockJam which just blew me away. (Check the video of the prototype).
It’s a musical hardware interface made up of LED blocks that can be joined together to create musical structures.
I don’t know why I got so excited, I think it’s just that this kind of ‘interface’, something really simple, yet effectively infinitely extensible, has the potential to completely change the way that we interact with computer systems.
Yes, it looks simplistic, and maybe its role will be purely as an educational or developmental tool. But maybe not… There’s no reason why this kind of block based system couldn’t be used to create image or video processing chains. Or even to develop computer programs.
It may seem clunky and unnecessarily tactile, but for many people that’s what’s wrong with purely screen based interfaces, they don’t have any ‘feeling’ to them. They only make sense within their own screen-based context.
Oh, I don’t know, I’m no expert in this stuff. But it felt like an interesting challenge to the norm.