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 3-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]