Bringing Interoperability to Kids' Construction Toys

There is so much that is good about this project. Prepare to be blown away (the following blurb is from the F.A.T. Lab website):

"F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab are pleased to present the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten* popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests. The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. Our adapters can be downloaded from and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer)."

The Secret Lives Of Objects

Stickybits is an iPhone app that talks to barcode stickers, allowing you to program messages and stick them to physical objects. You can buy a pack of 20 for around 10USD, but you can also download and print your own barcodes for free. "Each barcode is programmable by the first person who scans it and and leaves a photo, video, audio, or text message. The next time somebody scans that barcode, the previous message will appear on their phone. Anyone can add a new message to the same code, resulting in a stream of messages connected to whatever object or place the barcode is stuck on. Each scan, and related message, is geo-tagged so you can see as an object moves around how its story evolves."

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