These "intelligent" tech games are presented in a series of three cubes (you can add more), manipulated like building blocks, but where each appears to be a mini-technological wonder. One of the games was developed in collaboration with a Montessori educator. Here's an excerpt from Sifteo's blog:
At Sifteo, we believe that the cubes are an excellent tool for language and literacy, no matter what age the player may be. However, working with an education specialist with a great deal of experience in reading instruction, Dr. Victoria Matthews, we decided to create a game for pre-readers. We discussed ideas with her and came to the conclusion that pre-readers need a fun yet focused way to learn letter sounds. Isolating the sounds gives a learner the foundation they need for greater phonemic awareness. For a game, we wanted to give the the player something manipulable that could boil down the letters to their basic sonic attributes.
Looks like a smart gift for the holidays. Cool, right? Would love to hear feedback, especially if you've tried this out (Disclosure: The Daily Riff doesn't have an affiliate relationship with Sifteo, and we've not tried this "hands on" yet).
1st video - Merrill interview - 4 minutes - via Fast Company
2nd video - Sifteo trailer