Microsoft’s smart mat project could blend Lego and Minecraft together

Via the Verge:

Microsoft has unveiled its latest research project today, Project Zanzibar. It’s a smart mat that’s designed to blend the digital and physical worlds by sensing touch, gestures, and objects. A team of researchers, with a love of toys, created the project at Microsoft’s research labs in the UK. The mat folds and combines sensing, near field communication (NFC), and multi-touch to imagine a future where you could place objects on this smart mat and play games.

Microsoft’s video (above) demonstrates a number of different games that track the position, movement, and orientation of objects — all thanks to NFC stickers. The smart mat, that reminds me of the Surface Music Cover, can even detect inputs like button presses, and works with existing devices via Bluetooth. While the software maker demonstrates basic games for learning, programming, and augmented reality, this looks like the perfect hardware to combine the company’s Minecraft game with real-world Lego blocks. Objects can be easily tagged with NFC stickers, so you could stack them and have the mat translate that physical object into Minecraft.

MovieMaker white bg 1024x593

See more!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 30,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — The Defense Production Act and the global supply chain

Wearables — The eyes have it!

Electronics — Counting Pin Numbers

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Python Reaches #1, 3K Core CircuitPython PRs and much more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — No-Code IoT with WipperSnapper, Beaming Internet across the Congo, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 10/13/21 feat. Kitty’s Flowers – Pair of Bluetooth Wearable Brooches – Art byPhysicis! @adafruit #adafruit #newproducts

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



1 Comment

  1. KI7ATZ here. My DMR TYT 380
    Can be programmed with a Rasberry PI
    Using K5RAB’s application of TYT380 tools with no Windows 10 issues!… and my DMR Hot Spot is a Rasberry Pi build too!
    73’s
    KI7ATZ Pete

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.