For those of you who've not yet seen this little device in action, I definitely recommend you head below at least for the video of it being controlled by its creating group's CEO, for this is Sphero, and there is basically nothing like it in the world. When I was a kid, I had a remote-controlled monster truck that had a bit of trouble doing much other than running along the sidewalk. Later there was the three-wheeled monster that was supposedly unable to get caught on its side - oh I caught it, alright. Now there's this, what's literally a sphere which I can control from my Android or iOS device, and it's up for pre-order right now. What more could one ask for?
This little object is a bit larger than a billiards ball, but not so large as a big bocce ball. It's semitransparent white so that the lights that shine from within can be seen, and the brand name Sphero can be seen on the side. You charge it by lying it in its stand, and it's controlled via Bluetooth with your smart device such as your iPhone or your Galaxy S II. Have a look at this hands-on video your humble narrator filmed back at the Pepcom Holiday Spectacular 2011:
The fellow speaking and controlling the ball there is Orbotix' (the group who made the ball) CEO Paul Berberian. Who better to show off the capabilities of the ball? Now that ball is up for pre-order sales starting at 12:01 this morning and WOW have they been jumping off the shelves. We're waiting on the numbers from Orbotix headquarters, but given that the orders available for shipping inside 2011 are completely wiped out on http://store.gosphero.com/, we've got to assume things are going pretty well.
UPDATE: Yes indeed things are going well - we've just gotten word from the head man himself:
"We are really excited about launching pre-orders today. The team has been up since midnight making sure we are in front the community with everything running smoothly! We're seeing a very high conversion from people who reserved early and quite the traffic coming in from the publicity. We would definitely recommend getting on top of pre-ordering if you want to received your Sphero before 2012." - Paul Berberian
You can also pick up a Sphero on Amazon.com soon, though the portal isn't quite opened at the time of this posting, and there are currently six applications for you to check out that'll be working with your mobile device instantly upon release like Sphero Golf, Sphero Drive, and Sphero Blox. The first two are fairly self-explanatory in their titles, but Blox goes like this: add a collection of direction blocks in a line on your device and press play, watching your Sphero follow the dance you've created perfectly right before your eyes. In the dark or in the light - choose your color.
Have a peek at each of the apps available now here:
Finally, have a peek at this "A New Way to Play" video just released today as well, and take note of the moment the device jumps directly in the water: