Sphero, the company that made a toy version of BB8, the cute spherical droid from Star Wars The Force Awakens, just added a wearable accessory to their lineup.
Previously the BB8 toy moved via a smartphone app, but now your kids (or you?) can play Star Wars with a wrist-worn wearable. We think you will secretly covet this one, even if you’re afraid to admit it.
Wearables are toys. Just ask McDonald’s. They’re top dollar toys with a functional purpose, in much the same way as cars except they don’t cost as much.
Even if you’re not a fanboy of the Star Wars universe, you’ve seen BB8 around the interwebs.
BB8 is that short, snowman-looking, white and orange robot. The BB8 has one sphere for a body, with a pillbox head on top. BB8’s head floats on the sphere as he rolls around.
For robots, the BB8 is pretty cute, right up there with Wall-E.
The toy version of BB8 is amazing to watch. when you see the spherical robot in the movie you accept the movement as a trick of cinema. There no way the head could stay vertical with a ball for a body.
Not true. Sphero does such a good job recreating BB8, it will increase your willing suspension of disbelief when you watch the movie again. That’s no movie trick, you’ll tell yourself. It’s real!
The to BB8 is smaller than the movie version, but it won’t matter to you… er, to your kids.
Without the Force Band, BB8 maneuvers via a smartphone app. That’s great if you’re old enough to have a smartphone that can stand up to play time.
Otherwise, BB8 makes a nice inside the house toy, something to play with shortly then return to his charging cradle.
The better plan is set up your kids with the coolest wearable on this side of the galaxy. Then they can take BB8 anywhere without you worrying about cracked screens. Plus, the Force Band is cool.
As OB1 says, “The force is what gives a Jedi his power…” The actual band looks like it fell off a prop shelf for Star Wars. It allows the wearer to control the BB8, but it has other tricks up its sleeve.
There is a combat training mode, where the device makes lightsaber sounds, augmenting a make-believe lightsaber. It also trains the wearer to use the force. In this mode, the BB8 sends commands to the Jedi, then commends his efforts .
The band will detect disturbances in the force, something important to Jedis. It will also operate other droids, specifically the other robot Sphero manufactures.
Kids don’t move enough. We know this. Buying them fitness trackers not only won’t interest them, they’re expensive.
Better that kids have something the will motivate them to move, not tell them how few calories they burn. Because the Force Band encourages movement, but also adventure, it makes the best tools for secret fitness.
Kids won’t even know you’ve tricked them into being active. They’ll just think it’s play time.
What makes this easier is the solid design of these two elements, BB8 and the Force Band. Even an adult could believe for a second that he was Poe, battling storm troopers.
We get to cover a wide variety of lifestyle and fitness wearables. Every once awhile they nudge over the barrier of one of there other, something we predict more going forward.
The line will get blurry. This is a good thing. In a world where we’ve blamed technology for all of our sedentary lifestyles, we may one day thank that same technology.
But forget all that. the Force Band is cool.