Arguably one of the most unusual accessories to be released for a smartphone, technology company Orbotix have released the second version of their ‘robotic ball companion’ Sphero.
‘Sphero 2.0′, which is controlled through a companion app on supporting tablet computers and smartphones, is a movable ball that can travel at a faster rate than before, whilst using multi-coloured and brighter LED lights. Also launching with the product is a number of new accessories such as an outdoor/hard floor ‘rubber shell’, and ramps used to create obstacle courses.
The device (set for a release on 30 August with pricing of $129.99 (USA) and £99.99 (UK)), is known for its ability to offer recreational and educational programmes, now launched through over 25 ‘companion apps’ (several of which are noted as containing augmented reality options), whilst the firmware for the ball has been improved ahead of the release of the new version.
Explaining the unique ‘smart toy’ companion that portable device owners can own, the official Sphero website notes of the 2.0: “Built like a racecar, every aspect of Sphero 2.0 has been re-configured for an entirely new and more accurate driving experience. It’s going to change the way you play. With over 25 apps now available for Sphero, you’ll never run out of ways to play. Sphero 2.0 works with iOS 4.0+ or Android devices with operating system 2.2+.”
While it remains to be seen if Sphero can launch itself into the limelight with its second incarnation, this advert for the next-generation of toy has a much more assured future, and could well be part of future retrospectives on the industry depending on its impact: