Rubik's Cube-like device lights up, lets you play 'Snake' in three dimensions

One of the few bright spots in the otherwise prehistoric hellhole that was the world before smartphones was the experience of playing Snake on our chunky Nokia 3210 handsets.

That’s something a new Kickstarter project wants to bring back, albeit with a distinctly 21st century spin. What the team behind QCoo have created is essentially a portable Rubik’s Cube-style object, which lets you play a number of games — including Snake — courtesy of a smart sensor and a bunch of LEDs.

“We used to play Snake on our Nokia phones in two dimensions,” Spencer Dai, marketing manager for the Kickstarter campaign, told Digital Trends. “With the QCoo, there’s the chance to play it in three-dimensional space for the first time. There’s a gyroscope inside it which lets you play by simply tilting the QCoo.”

That would be diverting enough to deserve a place on the desk of any self-respecting geek who subconsciously wishes it was 1998 again — but QCoo’s ambitions go further than that.

“QCoo is completely open source on both hardware and software,” Dai continued. “We want people to develop their own games and apps, and we’re going to collect these in a community so people can share them with each other. We’re also continuing to develop new apps ourselves. We’re viewing this as a long-term project.”

Other applications for the light-up cube include drawing an object on your paired smartphone and then having it re-created in LEDs on the QCoo, using it as a soothing relaxation tool displaying “beautiful LED effects,” or turning it into a makeshift die for gaming on the go. “For those who can program by themselves, they can share their program or ask us to help improve it,” Dai said. “For those who have fantastic ideas but [who are] not be able to develop on their own, they can tell us their ideas and we will help achieve them.”

QCoo’s Kickstarter campaign is currently $9,646 of the way toward its $30,000 goal. If you want to help it hit that target — and get hold of a unit of your own for your troubles — you can secure one with a pledge of $49 and up.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited to a different occasion.
Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s satellite projects will study the sun using solar sailing

Small satellites can be used for all sorts of purposes, and NASA has been searching for ideas to push ahead the capabilities of the hardware. The agency has announced two new projects to demonstrate the potential of small satellites.