The phone emulation below imitates all features of the program except design submission. Use the mouse to click buttons, keyboard arrows to navigate menus or phone joystick for everything. The commands are shown below.

No phone image? Click here.

Let's start drawing a repeating pattern

The unit lattice shown by black initially contains two objects. Inside red-bordered area (the asymmetric unit) you see the object containing a blinking point. This is the one you control. Move it around by the phone joystick to see how surrounding objects are replicated by symmetry. Press left button or Key 5 to make the object leaving a trace. Pick up another drawing tool by pressing Key * or another symmetry group by Key #. You can also change the pattern size, placement, colors etc. by commands in More menu. And do not forget to submit your best creations to the Image Gallery!

  • Select symmetry - Key #
  • Select new object - Key *
  • Move object - Joystick or Keys 2, 4, 6, 8
  • Draw / Move switch -Key 5
  • Change object color - Key 7
  • Clear scene / Resize cell - Key +
Ivan Orlov, Nicolas Schoeni, Gervais Chapuis © 2006 

This Java program for mobile phones will help you to learn the laws of crystalline symmetry. The tiny applet simulates the symmetry environment of the 17 planar (two-dimensional) symmetry groups which you can decorate with various objects according to your fantasy. In playing the game you will not only enjoy creating colorful designs a la Escher on your own, but also effortlessly master the main crystallographic concepts:

Once fully cooked, the artwork could be sent to your special friends or simply submitted to our web collection. This program is freely available for everyone on the web and requires no special phone settings. Do you have 5 minutes to play crystallography today?

Recently published I. Orlov, N. Schoeni and G. Chapuis. Crystallography on mobile phones. J. Appl. Cryst. 39, 595-597. Download reprint (PDF, 288 Kb)

Other reviews and articles: Mobile Learning :: Flash EPFL (french) :: Swiss Society for Crystallography

Ensure that your phone is Java 2.0 compatible. Here is the list of compatible phones (several pages), any phone listed there can run the applet.
Choose download
  • Send me SMS with download link (may not work in the USA)
    Please use international prefix, eg 0041781112233
  • Send me applet by E-mail, my phone is Email-enabled.
  • Load the applet to my computer, I will transfer it by Bluetooth or InfraRed (39 kB, JAR file).
  • I have a WAP browser. Visit from your phone.

Once the file is in your phone, browse to the Application folder and run Escher Mobile application.

NEW beta release is now available. It has improved menu system and full screen mode. Note that is is not yet tested on some phones.
Download beta-release to my computer
(44 kB, zipped JAR file).

Do you have an iPhone? Escher iPhone is now available. Click here.

Name: Benzene
Author: eagles
Cell: P6 (a=b=106, alpha=60o)
Mobile: SonyEricssonK700i
Name: Faujasite clusters
Author: DejaVue
Cell: P6 (a=b=64, alpha=60o)
Mobile: SonyEricssonK700i
Name: bee
Author: magda19
Cell: P6mm (a=b=58, alpha=60o)
Mobile: SonyEricssonK750
feedbackThis project is undergoing development and we are interested to hear about your own Escher Mobile experiences. We are considering creating other crystallographic applets for mobile phones. What would YOU like to see offered?
Laboratory of Crystallography, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland
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