Currently on display as part of the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival are these cool Esper Dominoes, a hi-tech, contactless version of dominoes.
Using wireless communication the tiles themselves “decide which block to knock over next”; in other words, they knock each other over without touching.
They don’t look much like dominoes at first, eschewing the traditional “bone” black and white design, and with lights showing the tile number. These “numbers” determine the order in which the dominoes fall and you can actually line them up in any shape you want it seems. As the video below shows, this can be fun to play around with, such as even creating simultaneous domino effects (for example, have several dominoes with the same number which will tip over together).
Not sure if they have a mass production future but I very much like the image of a massive contactless domino chain.
Developed by the Jarashi Suki and the IAMAS Ubiquitous Interaction Research Group in 2009, the tiles themselves and a video about them are being exhibited at the National Art Center in Roppongi until February 13.