After walking, I mean rolling, onto stage as part of The Force Awakens panel at a Star Wars celebration in Anaheim, it was clear that the BB-8™ was a hit among fans, much like R2-D2 has been over decades. Inevitably, rumours surfaced that the droid would be making an appearance as a toy, much to the delight of fans. The early suggestions were that Sphero, the company that launched the toy of the same name, would be responsible for bringing the character to your living rooms.
Earlier today, rumours became fact, as Sphero officially announced the BB-8™ toy, an app-enabled Droid. With all the earlier rumours, discussions of pricing were also circulating, which can also be put to bed today. The unit will set you back $149.99, although no retailers have been specifically mentioned as yet. Information that is confirmed is that the unit will be controlled by means of your Bluetooth-enabled Android or iOS device, has holographic communication, and is able to listen to voice-operated commands. Even more impressive is its ability to adapt its personality based on its surroundings and your actions, as well as being able to “explore” its surroundings for said adaptations. Only time will tell how well this all works out in practice. What we want to know is whether you’ll be getting your wallet ready?
“Meet BB-8™ – the app-enabled Droid™ that’s as authentic as it is advanced. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings.”