This is the Droid you are looking for.
BB-8 was featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens along with R2D2. Both R2D2 and BB-8 received many love from the fans around the globe. Sphero knew that everyone wanted a droid for themselves. Last year, Sphero teamed up with Lucasfilm and Disney Consumer Product to make the movie figure into a reality. September 2015, Sphero successfully launched their BB-8, but the words were not spreading quickly enough. At CES 2016 Unveiled, Sphero brought their BB-8 Droid, and many press members were surrounding the booth. It is cute little thing, and resembled BB-8 going through the desert all by himself in the movie.
Let’s talk about the actual droid. BB-8 can be connected to your Android or iOS devices through bluetooth. Made out of durable polycarbonate and has waterproof body with water resistant head. I saw BB-8 falling off of the table many times, it shouldn’t break that easily. But try not to drop it intentionally, it is sensitive electronic at the end. It is 11.4 cm or 4.5 inches tall, 7.3 cm or 2.9 inches wide, and weighs about 200 grams or 7 ounces. The head is basically magnetically attached to the body; Though, they were kind of hiding away to talk about this technology. BB-8 has a 1 to 3 battery ratio, 1 hour of play to 3 hours of charging. The battery may be the biggest disadvantages of BB-8 Droid, but if we think about charging time of the drones, it is acceptable.
BB-8 Tech Specs
Material: Durable Polycarbonate, waterproof body and water resistant head.
Size: 11.4 cm / 4.5 inches tall, 7.3 cm / 2.9 inches wide, and weighs about 200 grams / 7 ounces.
Battery: 1 to 3 battery ratio, 1 hour of play to 3 hours of charing.
Top Speed: 4.5 mph or 7 ft/s
Connection: Bluetooth Smart BLE (100 foot range), works with both iOS and Android devices.
- Android OS 4.4.2 or newer
- Any device that has BLE
- Rear facing camera to support Holographic messaging feature.
- Pad 3 or newer
- iPhone 4S or newer
- iPod Touch 5th Gen. or newer
- iOS 8 or newer
It’s not the actual hologram projecting from BB-8 or R2D2 like we saw in Star Wars. Instead, your phone simulates the hologram where it appears like BB-8 is projecting the hologram. It is pretty cool feature. It is light sensitive as well, if your room is too bright, you may have difficulties viewing the hologram.
You can record your own holograms up to 12 seconds by using your phone. Send your messages to BB-8 and deliver it to someone important like General Leia!
Just like Siri or Android voice command, you can activate BB-8 voice command by saying “OK BB-8”. Then tell BB-8 what to do just by saying certain phrases, such as “Look Around” or “Go Explore”. User interaction with this droid is quite amazing.
You can set your BB-8 into a patrol mode and your BB-8 will start exploring your surroundings. He can map out collisions with object in the room and sends variety of informations back to you, such as his speed, temperature, and a graph of his motions.
The Force Band
This is a prototype they showed at CES 2016 Unveiled. It is an accessory for BB-8 Droid where you can control your BB-8 using the force! It’s mainly gesture based like how Samsung smart watches are. I think it is pretty cool to see how Sphero is trying to bring every Star Wars experiences the user. There is no pricing or final design at this point, but it is estimated to be launched later this year.
Maybe because I am Star Wars fan, I love this. It’s not just an ordinary toy or droid mock ups. There are many technologies within this product, and I appreciate Sphero for brining Star Wars world into a reality, into our lives. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was out for sometime. If you haven’t go watch it. May the force be with you.
More blogs to come for CES 2016! Jun will be at Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay covering variety of tech news and announcements from the companies around the world. Stay tuned for more updates! Follow Jun on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.