Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

+ READ ARTICLE

The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

A message to Michigan: Lighten up.

Some common themes are starting to arise as I talk to people for Assignment Detroit. One in particular has struck me as important enough to post on the blog.

Simply, it is the idea that Metro Detroiters are too hard on themselves. Those who were born outside of the area are amazed at how native residents belittle the good things about this fine state we call the Mitten.

These "outsiders" seem to love it here. There is Mascha Poppenk, the Dutch filmmaker who called Detroit “the city of the future.” Or my new girl crush, Catherine Juon, the Internet marketing wunderkind from Iowa who loves living in the D.

"When you look at the history of all the things that have happened here, it's an amazing city," said Juon, co-founder of Ann Arbor-based Pure Visibility.

Then there is Mario Mazzardo, the brilliant software engineer who comes to Detroit's suburb of Bloomfield Hills via Italy.

Yes, he left Italy to work in the Rust Belt. And, yes, I asked him what in the world he was thinking.

“It is beyond my expectations,” Mazzardo said.

Really? Detroit?

“I confirm that I am happy we made the move,” Mazzardo said.

Okay, whatever. (Oh, wait. I must be one of those Michigan natives with low self-esteem.) That's right! Michigan is awesome! Great Lakes! Good times!

Mazzardo is the vice president of product strategy and management for solidThinking. Originally founded in Vicenza, Mazzardo and brother Alex started the software company in 1991. Troy-based Altair Engineering snapped them up last year and asked the duo to move to Michigan.

Designers use solidThinking software to create photorealistic 3D virtual prototypes of products across industries from jewelry to yachts to motorcycles. So a jewelry designer could show a potential client how the light reflects off of a ring as its wearer moves about.

As amazing as Italy is, Mazzardo said the timing was right to make the Midwest move. solidThinking was ready to launch a new product line. And his children (an 11-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son) were ready to make the change.

“I like the people here. Everyone is so hospitable and warm. I know all of my neighbors and we were invited to dinner by everyone,” Mazzardo said.

How are the kids doing?

“The schools are excellent, public and private,” Mazzardo said. “It's exciting for them. They love the new friends.”

In fact, Mazzardo has some advice for Michigan: Lighten up.

“Be open to new businesses, new people, new opportunities,” he said. “In Italy, people are more closed up. The people in the North are closed off from the people in the South. I thought it would be the same here, but it's not. It's different.”

When pressed, he concedes there might be one drawback – or so he has heard. “We are waiting for Michigan weather,” Mazzardo said. “It's a new experience.”

So…we're okay? You like us? You really like us?

Yes, Mazzardo insisted. “Look at the lakes! It's a beautiful area, even for someone who comes from Italy,” he said.

  • Print
  • Comment

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

 Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

+ READ ARTICLE

The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
 MIT Student Creates Connect Four Playing Robot for Course Final - TIME
TIME technology

This Robot Would Very Much Like to Play a Game of Connect Four With You

Game on

+ READ ARTICLE

When the singularity finally hits and artificial intelligence takes over everything, at least we know some of the robots will know how to have a good time — like this Connect Four-playing bot, programmed by MIT student Patrick McCabe.

Users can choose between four levels of difficulty and can even ask for a hint if needed. Head over to McCabe’s website for a detailed breakdown of how the machine works. In the meantime, watch here as the bot beats McCabe in the first round — and even taunts him a little bit before clinching the game.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser