The Media Centre, Huddersfield, UK
and the University of Huddersfield

TileToy is a modular, electronic game prototype for tangible LED game tiles. TileToy brings the flexibility inherent in digital software to a physical tile that people can touch and interact with. By arranging the electronic tiles, players can engage themselves in various kinds of game play, ranging from fast-paced arcade style games to puzzle games or learning games. Compared to traditional tile games, this TileToy can avail itself of changing-state strategies, animations and games where the tiles can effect the state of adjoining tiles. TileToy can also be used to display information or used for purely aesthetic purposes.

The re-programmable and constantly updated graphical information on each tile is displayed with a LED matrix system. The screen displaying the information is an endlessly versatile surface for updated visual communication. Each tile is controlled individually and can be used to transmit information on its own or in groups of several tiles, e.g. for scrolling text. The tiles snap onto each other magnetically and communicate wirelessly with the help of built-in transmitters and receivers. A central computer runs the different applications. The assembled tiles are "aware" of their individual position in relation to each other.


The tiles are plastic cases approximately 2" square. The main inspiration for the look and feel comes from the heyday of the LED, when plastic hand-held games ruled the gaming world. This retro-look is fused with a more modern minimal design. The minimalism enhances the magic of cordless boxes that simply communicate with each other. In TileToy, technology is sealed within the design. The interaction is based on tactile experience where no user manual is needed.

Tuomo Tammenpää works as a media artist and designer. He has participated in several international exhibitions. He also works as the Creative Director of Mindworks Ltd., a Helsinki-based digital design and engineering company. Daniel Blackburn is the Managing Director of Carbon Based Games Ltd. He has worked on a number of new and innovative computer games. He currently divides his time between running a mobile phone games studio and working in collaborative projects in the field of new media art.

Summary in Finnish