Images via Javier Lloret
I cannot solve a Rubik's Cube and I don't think I will ever be able to. I've accepted this, but will always be impressed by the kids who can perfect the cube faster than I can say "savant." The world record for solving the puzzle is 5.5 seconds which may never be topped, at least in terms of speed.
Javier Lloret, a masters student at Interface Culture at Universität für Künstlerische und Industrielle Gestaltung Linz in Austria, may have actually one-upped the reigning speed champion, but in grandiosity, rather than dexterity.
For his thesis project, Lloret designed Puzzle Facade, which transformed the Ars Electronica office in Austria into an illuminated, giant Rubik's cube. The designer is bringing the experience of solving the notorious puzzle to an urban space, turning part of the cityscape into an interactive game in the process.
Coded in OpenFrameworks, Puzzle Facade uses an interface-cube that holds electronic components to keep track of rotation and orientation. Then, the information is sent via Bluetooth to a computer that implements software to change the lights and color of the building facade in correlation to the handheld, interface cube.
Remember, though, you can only see two sides of the building while attempting to solve this puzzle. Things may be trickier than expected.
I imagine that using Puzzle Facade makes you feel like a giant, Godzilla-like monster, or Transformer as you twist an office building's appearance into something glowing and, well, puzzling.
Maybe this is what the future of videogames could look like: manipulating reality on a large-scale to create a public spectacle so cool that even the fastest Rubik's Cube champion looks pale in comparison.