Ever since the BB-8 Droid became one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, Sphero has worked to add interactivity to the toy. That now continues with the introduction of ‘Force Band’, a wearable wristband that allows users to control the droid by using gestures. The ‘Force Band’ won’t be released until late 2016, but its prototype model is available at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). BB-8’s movement is controlled by the elevation, direction and orientation of the hand.
MacRumors commented that the ‘Force Band’ is an interesting solution since it will turn the BB-8 droid into Sphero’s first product that doesn’t require a smartphone to control it. Besides, the website also made a statement about how the wristband works with BB-8:
“Resting your hand to your side enters driving mode. With your palm down, Sphero looks away from you; with your palm up it looks toward you. Spin in place, and BB-8 spins with you.
The direction also dictates where it drives, and the rolling speed is at least somewhat affected by your hand’s elevation. Waving your hand in place will enter a gesture mode — the only one that worked for me was a nod “yes” when we did a quick right jab — and then putting your hand back down re-engages driving mode.”
Sphero hasn’t announced the pricing of the ‘Force Band’ yet, but the final design of the wristband are expected to change. The company also revealed plans to release another version of the BB-8 with a worn battle-scarred appearance.
For anyone unfamiliar with the droid itself, it is a small, app-enabled replica of the robot from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ film. The droid was released four months prior to the release of the film, and is now available in Machine outlets in Malaysia. The BB-8 droid is currently priced at RM799, which is somehow higher than its US$149 (RM 637) price tag in the US.