I know that it might lack the true physicality of actual 'bits of plastic', but has anyone found, or considered creating, a virtual form of numicon? Given that it costs a fortune for just one copy, wouldn't it make sense to have a much cheaper version running on PCs (or laptops, or iPods, whatever). Does anyone fully understand the legal/patent position? What patents does/might Numicon themselves have? Would they be infringed by a software/virtual version? Would they even be infringed by a *free* (i.e. non-commercial) piece of software? I'm respectful of genuine patents and people's IPR, I cannot imagine there is any (legally valid) 'invention' in the core concept of numicon (coloured, shaped bits of plastic with holes?) - which is surely all that needs to be replicated in such an app. I'd imagine it'd be very easy to write an app that achieved 90%+ of numicon's functionality (albeit in a less 'physical' form - which might well be what Numicon claim to be a critically important feature of its (apparent) success. In fact, some of our colleagues in the ICT forum could probably knock it up in the same way as dexterwilliams recently developed a version of another Maths app idea I proposed there. [I don't know how effective numicon actually is, but rather than (maths departments?) in Primary schools spending a fortune 'exploring' and 'evaluating' it, mightn't a virtual version be more appropriate? Anyone found one online already?