We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

CES: Meet Sphero, the iPhone gaming ball

Gyroscope lets you control ball's movement from iOS

A cool gadget called Sphero was gathering plenty of interest in the iLounge Pavilion on the first day of CES.

It's a glowing ball - about the size of a cricket ball - with gyroscopes inside that allow two way control: you can make the ball roll around from your iPhone, or you can hold the ball and move it around to control an avatar in an iOS game.

The ball costs $129; there are five apps with various games, and these are currently free to download. And Sphero hopes that lots more apps will appear in future. It has made the API and SDK open for other companies to easily make applications that use the hardware.

The gyroscope seems fairly strong: with a bit of a run-up, it was able to get up a high enough speed for the ball to climb over a little ramp.

It establishes a wireless connection with your iPhone - or iPad, iPod touch or even Android device - using Bluetooth, and maintains an impressively responsive connection between the two; we were told it has a response rate of 20Hz, and our experiments with a 'Simon Says' type game were smooth and quick.

Charging is also wireless, with the ball sitting in an induction cup and refilling its batteries (these last for an hour, the company told us).

Rather nicely, you can alter the colour that Sphero glows. So on the small course the company had set up, each player had chosen their own colour so they could easily tell who was winning.


IDG UK Sites

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison: New iPad mini 3 isn't worth £80 more

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

View an animated vision of a better future for Ethiopian girls

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...