Sphero, the iPhone-controlled ball, needs a companion

Marketers in New York tried to demonstrate how much fun it is to play with multiple programmable balls.

Don't break my Spheros. These programmable balls can be controlled with an iPhone or Android device. Greg Sandoval/CNET

NEW YORK --Sphero rolled, danced, and lit up like a Christmas tree.

In Union Square here on Saturday night, marketers from Orbotix, makers of the ball that owners can control remotely with their iPhones and Android devices, dazzled crowds by showing off how their product can be programmed to move in a sort of synchronized ballet (video at bottom).

If you're thinking this may be the right holiday gift for the gadget nerd who has everything, note that buying multiple balls won't be cheap. On Amazon, the Sphero retails for $130.

David Carnoy, a CNET colleague, reviewed the device last year and concluded that Sphero possessed some cool tech but that the novelty of moving a ball around the floor runs out fast.

Chuck Lepley, a marketing manager for Orbotix, said that there's plenty of stuff to do with a single ball. He demonstrated some of the new apps and games available for Sphero.

Our advice, find other Sphero owners and have a ball.


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