Speaking primarily as a man and as a 43 year old ‘man-child’, there’s two things I’ve always enjoyed playing with, (but we’ll leave Mumma out of this for now). Two ‘other’ things I’ve always been fond of playing with, are balls and technology. And until now, these two things have always been utilised completely separate from each other, (discounting the DIY robot hand debacle of ’87; still wincing after that one). But thanks to some very clever folks at GoSphero.com, they’ve melded them together to make the coolest frickin’ thing ever!
Check out this video as Indy and I put our Sphero to the test.
So…What Is Sphero?
Sphero is the app-controlled ball that does it all.
A Brave Explorer
Control Sphero, turn your living room into a video game with augmented reality apps, or upgrade family game night with multiplayer games. Sphero is also pet-proof, swims and is ready to roll wherever you go.
A Teachable Robot
Sphero is even making moves in the classroom with crash courses in programming using MacroLab and orbBasic. Check out SPRK at sphe.ro/education.
A New Way to Play
Choose from over 30 apps and launch a whole new world of gameplay. The result is limitless possibilities for new types of connected play that meld the virtual and real worlds for a fun gaming experience.
Seriously, this thing is super cool. It spins, it rolls, it jumps and swims. It changes colour and is extremely hard wearing. Which means it’s the perfect remote toy to have around kids because they can’t slot anything into any nooks or crannies that shouldn’t have things jammed into them. Tearing it up at the local skate park on the dirt and concrete took a little bit of the sheen away, and got a few black scuff marks on it which rubbed right off, and yet, Louis is still about as smooth as my head. There is a Sphero Nubby Cover you can purchase for $14.99 that gives it more traction on land and water. He also squeals, dances up a storm and can even moonwalk!
There’s about 30 different apps you can download (most of which are free), to operate him from your particular mobile device of choice both iOS and Android, and the best thing is, you can customise and name your Sphero to whatever you like. That’s right, you gotta name it! That’s not me telling you you should, it’s in the software! We called ours, ‘Louis’.
‘Louis’ even comes with two little ramps to do jumps with. It takes a little bit of getting used to, to control him (just like my toddler), but you can control the speed to make it easier. The initial app that goes with it actually trains you how to use him and the better you get and the more you use him, the more skills you can add to his already amazing repertoire of tricks. It doesn’t take long to start treating him like a new family member either. In fact, Indy was even putting ‘Louis’ to bed and wishing him “Ni’nite, Ball.”
Where do you get ’em and how much do they cost?
Sphero 2.0 retails for $129.99 and you can order online from the Sphero Online Store, BUT…
Because you’re lucky enough to be reading this post and because this is such a cool gift, FATHER’S DAY is coming up fast so I’m going to giveaway a brand spankin’ new SPHERO 2.0 to ONE LUCKY READER. To be in the running to win (and name) your very own Sphero 2.0, you just need to ‘Like’ this post, leave a comment or ‘Share’ it via social media. Use the hashtag #40YODsphero. The lucky winner will be selected at random and in order to get it to you before Father’s Day, the giveaway period ends Tue night 2nd Sept, 2014 at midnight. (Australian residents only, sorry).
So, go get your sphere on from gosphero.com and watch the video again, (he’s so cute!).