|▲ ID Space / Co-CEOs Jihyun Yang and Gwanmyeong Kim|
Rubik’s Cube invented by Hungarian inventor Erno Rubik is one of the most sold toys in the world. Many people have challenged the perfecting the color groups in the shortest time and win or lose is decided at 0.00 second difference. Apart from this speedy figure-out competition, Rubik’s Cube helps people develop creativity, cognition ability and even rehabilitation.
While studying at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Jihyun Yang developed her idea of ‘U CUBE’. She was under a task to make one of a kind product in the world from an industrial design professor Gwanmyeong Kim. She borrowed the shape of Rubik’s Cube and added a maze to it: thus born was ‘maze cube’ which now calls U CUBE. (U stands for UNIST)
Encouraged by the professor, Yang brought it to the 2017 Spark International Design & Architecture Awards and won the gold prize which led to another prize at the reddot design award. Seeing a huge potential of the cube, Yang and her professor Kim joined hands and launched ID Space at the dawn of this year.
You play U CUBE by inserting marbles onto the maze cube to assemble the individual cubes to exit the marbles to the opposite hole. If Rubik’s Cube is about putting the puzzle together in speed, U CUBE is about finding the exit. Unlike Rubik’s Cube, you can use one marble or more or make up your own rules.
The size of the cube is 9 centimeters both vertical and horizontal and it normally takes 5 minutes to exit the marbles but 2 to 3 minutes if skilled. Currently, Kim is working on mini cube for children and assemblable cubes for DIY.
U CUBE, says Yang and Kim, helps us improve creativity and muscle movement of the hand and arms and prevent Alzheimer’s. 220 U CUBEs were given to middle and high school students at the UNIST Science Camp and a number of welfare centers and martial arts studios are currently showing interest. The Korea Cube Society, on the other hand, proactively suggested using U CUBE as a play material for children after school.
Yang says that it has taken about 3 years to develop the cube but she is in the beginning stage business-wise; adding that she is working on cloud funding from this month and start selling it on the market from next year.
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