Friday, 2 September 2016

Sphero Battle Worn BB-8 with Force Band

The new Sphero Force Band allows you to control Sphero BB-8 (and other Bluetooth Smart robots from Sphero) using a gesture control device worn on the wrist. The Sphero Force Band is now available to pre-order either on its own (if you already have a compatible Sphero) or as a package with the new special edition Battle Worn Sphero BB-8 droid.

Sphero have been doing a great job of putting the latest tech into toys. The first Sphero was one of the first robots that could be controlled from your phone or tablet. Now they've introduce gesture control to allow you to feel like you can control the force.

As well as LED lights and sound, the Force Band offers haptic feedback so wearers will be able to feel the Force as well as wielding it. There's the ability to 'uncover digital holocrons in your environment and collect them in the app' and there's a Combat Training mode that uses just the wearable without the droid. 

The Force Band is USB-rechargeable (with an hour of battery life) and has a companion app for Android and iOS.

And a close-up of the device itself:

The Force Band and the Battle Worn BB-8 are set for release at the end of September, in time for Halloween and in plenty of time for Christmas. 

We think the Force Band / BB-8 combo will be on lots of kids wish lists this Christmas, and it will make a fab costume wearable for those lucky enough to get one in time for Halloween. 

What we really like about the Sphero brand is that they manage to combine cool technology with educational coding. Their Sphero SPRK coding app works with BB-8 (and we expect it to work with the Battle Worn version too.) This means that kids get a fun tech toy but also an educational gadget that they can use to learn about how to control hardware through coding.

See also:

If you don't yet have a Sphero BB-8 droid then the Force Band is available to buy as part of a package with the new Battle Worn version of the droid.

We're pleased to see that the Force Band can also control other Bluetooth Smart robots from Sphero (this doesn't include the original Sphero), the video shows a Sphero Ollie being controlled by the Force Band. This is pretty cool and probably took some negotiating with Disney to allow the illusion to be broken, but it will be appreciated by families and it offers a wider scope for using the device.

The Sphero Force Band and Battle Worn BB-8 has made it onto our list of Cool New Kids Robots for 2016.

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