Ollie – The RC gadget for the smartphone era
Last year we named Sphero as one of our five things to see at the Gadget Show Live. This year’s offering from the Colorado based team is the Ollie. This can shaped bundle of energy is all brawn and not so much brain, that’s not to say that the tech inside this beauty is not clever but when compared to the 30 plus things that you could do with Sphero the basic driving around and doing tricks seems less impressive.
Ollie can’t help but be cool with its standard ice blue tyres and snow white body it’s effortlessly fun. It races round at a full 14mph so if you are new to it I would genuinely recommend shin pads to all by standers. It’s tough, durable and almost verbally begs to be driven off of steps, tables, dirt banks and so much more, if Steve Jobs had decided to reinvent the remote control car then Ollie would be the result. Ollie is the Tyco Rebound for the iPad generation, which is high priase as the rebound was the must have remote control car in the nineties.
My only criticism is the lack of things to do with Ollie, there are only so many times that you spin in 360 circles or hit a jump before it becomes a bit samey. The major worry here is that the novelty will wear off and Ollie will be relegated to a shelf until you next time you have a friend around and you want to show off your shiny new toy. The makers of Ollie have announced that there will new apps coming in the future that will provide new ways of playing with Ollie but until then this little guy may end up being as under appreciated as a free U2 album.
The team behind Ollie will also be offering extra hardware options such as different styles of hubs and a various tyres ranging from turbo tyres to nubby tires to increase traction. There is also a terrain park being released for Sphero that may well work with Ollie, failing that Ollie is extreme enough that you could take him to your local skate park to catch some air.
While Ollie may not reach the heights of the recently released iPhone 6, there is definitely a market for the little guy. He’s fun to use, easy to master and with a price tag of only £79.99 there are worse things you could spend your money on this Christmas.
If we used a 5 star rating system, I would give Ollie a solid 4 out of 5 stars with the potential to go for the full five depending on what the future holds.