When Sphero, the app-controlled ball, launched in 2012, we thought it was cool, but also just a ball that rolled around on the floor. It was not the most compelling toy, and we promptly forgot about it. Well, serendipity happened, and Sphero’s true potential has finally been unlocked. BB-8 is the droid Sphero was created for.
BB-8 is the new rolling droid that we’ll meet this December when Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters. BB-8 is a ball. Sphero is a ball. Sphero is a toy. Star Wars toys. The calculus was pretty easy on this one.
The BB-8 Sphero is now available for preorder, and it works pretty much the same way as a regular Sphero — you can control the ball by tilting your smartphone or issuing voice commands, or design paths for Sphero to follow — but now it’s a totally sweet droid rolling around on your floor, which changes everything completely. You can record video messages too, but unfortunately, those can only be viewed and shared using the app, leaving us to imagine what might have been if Sphero had managed to fit a pico projector into this guy. Oh, and are there sound effects? There are absolutely sound effects. What self-respecting Star Wars toy doesn’t?
Believe it or not, you can still preorder one — Sphero must be producing an awful lot of these guys. You can get your own BB-8 for $150, with shipping scheduled for October.