Sphero: A new ball game for smartphone gaming

Boulder, Colo., start-up Orbotix aims to take smartphone gaming to a new level with its robotic ball, called Sphero.

A prototype of the Sphero. Orbotix

Tired of playing games using your smartphone's touch screen? Ready to take it to the next level? Then, you might want to take a look at this.

A Boulder, Colo.-based start-up called Orbotix has created a robotic ball, called Sphero, that you can control with your smartphone via Bluetooth. The idea is that the ball becomes the object in a game, and you use your smartphone to maneuver it through the various levels or command it to do certain actions.

For example, you can use it to solve a maze by rolling the Sphero around on the floor. The company also gave an example of a multiplayer situation where you can go use two Sphero balls for a head-to-head sumo match.

The Sphero is designed to be used with iOS and Android games, and the API is open to developers.

Orbotix will be at CES 2011 showing off its prototype device, so we'll be sure to stop by and check it out. In the meantime, you can check out the Sphero in action in the video below.

About the author

Bonnie Cha was a former chief correspondent for CNET Crave, covering every kind of tech toy imaginable (with a special obsession for robots and Star Wars-related stuff). When she's not scoping out stories, you can find her checking out live music or surfing in the chilly waters of Northern California.


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