Gear: Get The Robotic Ball Rolling

Parties have lulls, those moments when conversations trickle out and people’s attention drifts. Maybe it’s just that everyone’s bodily rhythms sync up, leading to simultaneous beer consumption. After all, you can’t talk with your mouth full, right?

Then again, this may also be the time when you —  the host — need to liven things up a bit. Part of the fun of having people over is socializing. Engage the party masses with Sphero 2 App-Controlled Robotic Ball.

Buy the Sphero Robotic Ball.

We may all be working for robots one day, but for now, humans are still in charge. And the Sphero Robotic Ball is here for our entertainment. Welcome to the world of mixed-reality, where real and virtual elements combine for an exciting gaming experience. Download game apps — 25 available and counting — to your Apple or Android smart device to get the ball rolling. That app-enabled phone or tablet can then connect to the ball via Bluetooth.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Sphero 2 is fast… really fast. Fast enough that controlling it takes some precision and quick reflexes. It’s also durable, so don’t worry about bumping into walls or people’s ankles. And it’s waterproof, so beer puddles, swimming pools and other water hazards don’t matter either. LEDs inside the ball light up in a colorful array to keep it visible, even in the dark.

Sphero Robotic Ball

Photo Credit: Sphero

Sphero’s apps get the game going in one of two ways. Some are designed to make the ball part of the game, forcing you simultaneously watch on your touchscreen and in the real world. Others rely on augmented reality; aiming the device’s camera at Sphero lets you see it on your screen within a digital reality. That’s where the real fun lies. Sphero can become part of a Zombie-destroying fantasy, for example, or a miniature golf game with the phone as the golf club. Divide the guests into teams, and let the games begin.

Sphero, the app-controlled robotic ball, will take over any party. Enjoy it now while robots still have to do what we say.

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.


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