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.


The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

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.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

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!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.