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Sphero BB-8 Force Band Review : Star Wars’ top wearable

Sphero BB-8 Force Band Review : Star Wars’ top wearable

Sphero's Force Band for BB-8 is the best example of going above-and-beyond the call of duty I've ever seen in a Star Wars toy. And I've seen a lot of Star Wars toys. While there are some mightily impressive action figures out there - some with details so striking, I can barely tell model from real life - this Force Band for the BB-8 by Sphero amplifies the Star Wars magic already present in BB-8 by Sphero, a device we maintain is the Best Star Wars Toy Ever Made.

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Star Wars BB-8-controlling Force Band from Sphero debuts this month

Star Wars BB-8-controlling Force Band from Sphero debuts this month

One of the biggest Star Wars-related products to be released last year in the build-up to The Force Awakens was the robotic BB-8 toy from Sphero. The device could move around on its own in an automated mode, or be controlled via smartphone, but in January the company revealed a new Force Band accessory. When paired with BB-8, the wristband allows users to control their bot with mere hand gestures. And it will finally be available later this month.

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Sphero SPRK+ robo-ball to get kids rolling with programming

Sphero SPRK+ robo-ball to get kids rolling with programming

Analysts, researchers, and even governments believe that IT jobs will still be en vogue by 2020, but the number of jobs will outnumber the roster of students capable of filling those openings. That's why a lot of companies and programs are trying to start kids young by introducing them to the world of computers and robotics, in the form of games, of course. One of those is Sphero, which is releasing its new and improved SPRK+ robot ball (ro-ball? ballbot?) and updated Lightning Lab app to get kids developing apps at a very early age.

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Forget the mini BB-8, get a life-size one this year

Forget the mini BB-8, get a life-size one this year

Sphero's BB-8 toy was the must-have item last year for Star Wars fans, with the droid's rolling sphere body and head that stays upright perfectly replicated in miniature form. This year, however, a new form of BB-8 is going to take homes by storm, and this time it's life-size. At the 2016 New York Toy Fair this weekend, toy-maker Spin Master has unveiled a life-size BB-8 from The Force Awakens, and not only is it controlled via remote, but it will respond to voice commands too.

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Star Wars Force Band by Sphero commands BB-8 (our hands-on)

Star Wars Force Band by Sphero commands BB-8 (our hands-on)

One of the most fantastic toys ever made, BB-8 by Sphero, now has its own remote control. The basic model requires your smartphone to move around - and that's pretty awesome as it is. But Sphero wanted to go the extra mile. Forget these drones that are commanded by your smartwatch. Sphero wants to sell you the device, not just push an app to someone else's gear. That's why they're showing off the Star Wars Force Band.

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The 8 best and 4 worst things in Tech for 2015

The 8 best and 4 worst things in Tech for 2015

The year 2015 in technology was a year of improvements. Many of the best devices were succeeded by machines that were incrementally better, and we continue to live in an environment where we're either satisfied with what we have, or continue to wait for the next big thing, which seems to perpetually be right around the corner. What you're about to witness - in no particular order - are the 8 best devices released this year followed by the 4 worst happenings in the tech universe.

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BB-8 by Sphero Review Part II: 3 months later

BB-8 by Sphero Review Part II: 3 months later

Believe it or not, BB-8 remains part of our everyday lives three months after we published our first review. This little guy sits charging next to my television - I'm just a few feet away from him right now. That's a real rarity when it comes to reviews of oddities. With a smartphone, sure - it's not unheard of that I might stick with a smartphone for months and months. But a toy? In this case, even though I've reviewed products galore in the meantime, this BB-8 by Sphero toy has remained in heavy circulation.

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Sphero BB-8 updated with exclusive Star Wars content before film’s premiere

Sphero BB-8 updated with exclusive Star Wars content before film’s premiere

The Star Wars toy BB-8 by Sphero is given a software update that includes exclusive content from The Force Awakens several weeks before the film's premiere. While you can see the relatively limited holographic projection action released with the device initially in our first BB-8 review, today we're running down the extras delivered in this update. Both C-3PO and R2-D2 are now here to provide us with a couple of clues as to what will be happening in the film. Very, very tiny clues.

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Poor baby BB-8 already gets a gruesome teardown

Poor baby BB-8 already gets a gruesome teardown

Sphero really made headlines when it revealed the mini BB-8, a smartphone controlled miniature version of what will be the next lovable mascot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Immediately, the small rolling droid endeared itself to many, especially considering it was made available on #ForceFriday. But as cute and lovable as the BB-8 maybe, inquisitive minds can't but help try to pry into the small robot and see how it works. Yes, the BB-8 just got a teardown and it's not for the faint of heart.

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Sphero SPRK edition unboxing: robot education inside-out

Sphero SPRK edition unboxing: robot education inside-out

This morning we're getting our first opportunity to take a peek at the Sphero SPRK edition up close. This device is transparent - as is its charger - aiming to show students how the robot rolls. SPRK stands for Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids, and here we're taking the machine out of the same box the public will, one step at a time. Here we witness the insides of the remote-controlled sphere for the first time - without having to tear the ball apart.

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Sphero SPRK edition gets education rolling

Sphero SPRK edition gets education rolling

Sphero might have been commissioned to create what could be the new Star Wars mascot, but it's definitely not pouring all its resources into that lone one hit wonder. While its main focus is still on its programmable robot ball, it is expanding its reach beyond just grownups. With the new SPRK edition, Sphero is trying to entice inquisitive young minds to take and adventure into the world of robotics, programming, and, in the final analysis, science and technology. All the while probably thinking they're just playing with a rather sophisticated toy.

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Star Wars BB-8 toy a reality: Sphero confirms Disney team-up

Star Wars BB-8 toy a reality: Sphero confirms Disney team-up

This morning amid rumors and a fan-made creation, Sphero have revealed that they're actually making a real BB-8 toy in the near future. Not only were they already working on a toy like what you've seen roll onstage last week, they've worked with Disney to make BB-8 a reality. Today Sphero "confirmed their direct involvement in the latest Star Wars franchise; specifically their technology contributions towards BB-8, the new droid featured at Star Wars Celebration last week." The real deal hasn't been revealed yet - but it will be soon.

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