The Force in Your Hands with Sphero
Star Wars enthusiasts will certainly remember the loveable droid BB-8 which was seen in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie last year. Soon after the movie released, a Colorado based-tech start-up company launched their own BB-8 drone, which was a mini toy that was motorized and could be controlled by your smartphone. Then, earlier this year, Sphero released their Force Band, which is a wristband that allows you to control the droid using gestures dubbed as ‘force gestures’. Now the Force Band has been upgraded to allow you to do a lot more than just control a toy droid!
Priced at approximately USD 80, Sphero has upgraded the band to work If This Then That (IFTTT), a service that allows users to create applets to trigger other actions from your smartphone. So now you can even use the Force Band to control the smart gadgets around your home!
The band which looks like a gadget straight out of a Star Wars movie, rugged and has a worn out look with fake scratches and scuffs. There is only one button that works to turn it on and off and resembles an illuminated gear. There are also speakers built into the device along with a microUSB port that is for charging.
Turn the Force Band on and you will hear a voice that sounds like Obi-Wan Kenobi, give you three options. Choose from Combat Training, Control Your Droid or Force Awareness Mode. Combat Training lets you perform actions like firing a blaster or wielding a lightsabre through gestures. There are also appropriate sounds to accompany the movements.
Control Droid allows users to move around their BB-8 droid using Force Gestures. The Force Awareness Mode is a lot more involved. When you select this option, you are thrown into an augmented reality game that plays similar to Pokémon Go. Users can explore areas, collect creatures and new weapons, unlock modes and even undertake tasks.
Sphero’s Force Band is fitted with an accelerometer and a gyroscope. However one issue is without a doubt the battery life that lasts only two hours approximately.
Sphero is continually improving its technology and the addition of IFTTT support is proof of this. Users can customise gestures like a Force Pull, Force Stop or Force Push to trigger a variety of actions.
Some suggestions from Sphero for things you can command your smartphone to do using the Force Band, include ‘Play the Imperial March’ or ‘Post Your Jedi Wisdom to Twitter’. Additionally you can turn on or off lights, start a coffee machine, or even open and close doors using the band.
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Picture courtesy – digitaltrends.com
by techtalks @TechTalks January 9, 2017 7:29 AM UTC