Perennial childhood favourite Lego is working with a team of Sony researchers to explore ways of keeping the block toy relevant.
PC World report a group at the Tokyo-based Sony Computer Science Laboratories is experimenting on embedding motors, cameras, and actuators into Lego blocks.
The cameras can be used to transmit video to smartphones and other devices, and the actuators can be used to make structures crumble on demand – which would be a pretty great feature on its own, as anybody whose ever had to deconstruct a large Lego tower will agree.
“Lego is concerned about losing kids to video games. We want to keep the size small, but add interactive games,” Sony R&D’s Ganta Kondo said.
That said, there are no plans to bring these products to market yet; the team is struggling with the short battery life of such tiny devices, as well as the difficulties of tracking so many bricks at once.
At this stage, the team has also developed a system whereby a computer-controlled Lego platform will chase another around an arena; the second platform is controlled by a player using a control pad or just their hand. It’s a simple idea, but since you can build whatever you like on the platform, it has quite a few gaming possibilities.