Dice are probably the most common gaming devices in the world, and that’s because they’re remarkably good random number generators. True random number generation is essentially impossible, but dice get really close. Rolling dice is also fun, and most people aren’t interested in a digital alternative. But, let’s just say you have sleeping baby, and you still want to enjoy late-night Monopoly tournaments in your living room. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, because Zak Kemble designed an electronic dice you can build yourself.
Sure, you could probably just download a dice app for your smartphone or something. But, this is much cooler. The entire package is just 18 x 18 x 4.9 mm, which makes it smaller than a standard casino gaming dice. Rolling it is as easy as pushing a button. Seven LEDs will flash as the dice “rolls” through different sides, and then it will settle on a random number between one and six.
Kemble chose the minuscule and ultra energy efficient ATtiny25V for the dice. When the button is pressed, it runs an XORShift random number generator algorithm. The algorithm isn’t a perfect random number generator — nothing is — but the code is compact and runs quickly, and the numbers are still random enough for real world use. And, because its runs on that low-power ATtiny25V, the dice can be rolled approximately 24,000 times on a single CR1616 coin cell battery. If you want to quietly do some late-night gaming, this looks like a great choice. Though it won’t stop you from screaming when you land on Luxury Tax instead of Boardwalk.