Ikea hacking never gets old, but this goes beyond your average mod: an interaction designer named Marc Dubois has taken three cheap-o Ikea products and modified them to act as controllers for desktop games.
Dubois created three controllers: one from a desktop lamp, one from a wooden ball, and one from a simple box, each powered by an iPhone placed inside the objects. These three shapes — cone, sphere, and cube — act as basic tangible interfaces thanks to the iPhone's internal sensors. The sphere and cube both depend on the phone's gyroscope, which can detect three-axis movement. The cone uses the light sensor, reading how much light is being shined on the surface of the lampshade:
Game controllers aren't much use without a game, so Dubois built that too. It's called Collidem, and it's all about completing physical tasks with the objects:
The project was created at University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland, so it's unclear whether there'll ever be a chance for us to play it. But it wouldn't be too hard to build these low-tech controllers for yourself. Dubois even created detailed instructions to do just that—in the form of an Ikea manual, of course. [Prosthetic Knowledge; Marc Dubois]