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Orbotix Sphero – App and ball is the new bat and ball!

This year’s most expensive stocking stuffer, to the eye, could be nothing more than a humble ball. But this is the old bat and ball idea with genius twenty-first century spin – Sphero is actually more than meets the eye, in fact it’s an intelligent little toy controlled by a smartphone app and can be used for a range of games including tag and rolling races and as just seen in a new video from its creator Orbotix you can even play a club-less, wire-less round of golf.

The toy consists of a small white ball ‘the size of a baseball’ and a mobile app, which includes a selection of games and functions. Connecting to the ball’s hidden Blueooth allows a player to control and roll the ball in any direction and in early footage we saw a user teasing a cat by having it chase the phantom-moving sphere!

Some of the games we know of include a lap challenge, rolling two balls in a race against time, another is tag, where two balls chase one another around via the wireless control of their owner, touching another ball lights it up in either red or green – designating which player is ‘it’.

The latest video from Orbotix show the golf game in action and we think for this purpose alone it’s a pretty genius and innovative little toy. The clip shows the Sphero being putted, but we now know the golf game will come with a setting called ‘drive’ so we can only hope the Sphero packs some clout with a good swing of the smartphone.  Although of course you won’t be able to put it through a lot of punishment as it’s still a high-tech gadget!

Sphero was announced back at the CES 2011 event, in a much simpler form. Orbotix has now unveiled the finished product and is ready to launch the toy, induction charger, app and first games – in the next few months, for Android, iOS and Windows Phone gadgets, including smartphones and tablets with new apps developed and updated in the future. Pre-orders are available now on Orbotix’s website – but the Sphero will set you back $129.99.


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