I got turned on to the TED Conferences a few years ago, and ever since then I’ve been mildly addicted to watching TED videos online. (Confession: I’ve whirled away hours on ellipticals at the gym while watching Maira Kalman on my iPod. Gulp.)

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that one of the most popular presentations at this year’s annual conference was done by David Merrill SM ’04, a grad student at MIT’s Media Lab, who works on Siftables—little cookie-sized computers that can sense each other, sense their motion, and they have a screen and a wireless radio.

In the presentation, Merrill showed the audience how Siftables containing paint buckets could pour “paint” into another Siftable—turning it all different colors. He made them into single numbers, placed them in a line with addition and equal sign Siftables, and aptly demonstrated that they could do math. These little computers that look like blocks are smart. Really smart.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video:

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