Sphero's Force Band sends Star Wars' BB-8 zooming with a flick of the wrist

It's the next best thing to using Jedi mind tricks -- Sphero's new Force Band lets you control a mini BB-8 droid with hand gestures.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
2 min read
Watch this: No mind tricks required: Control BB-8 with Sphero's Force Band

Ever since he rolled across the sand dunes of Jakku in the opening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," BB-8 has been a crowd favourite. And now, you can control him from your wrist with your very own Force Band.

Toymaker Sphero anticipated the popularity of Star Wars' new droid with the launch of the original Sphero BB-8 -- a rolling robot that could be controlled with a smartphone. Now that the film is blasting box office records, the company is ready with an update, and they're ditching the smartphone app in favour of a wearable.

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The Force Band by Sphero looks like a digital watch (without the screen) and is packed with sensors that allow you to control BB-8's movements. You can 'Force Push' or 'Force Pull' the droid, and even swivel your hand to change directions. All of this is done with the power of Bluetooth -- no Jedi mind tricks required.

According to Sphero, using the Force Band "takes using The Force one step further" and we have to agree. Using hand gestures looks much cooler than tinkering with a touchscreen, and it helps you feel a touch more like a real Jedi.

Launching in Fall 2016, the Force Band will be available on its own and will work with the existing Sphero BB-8 (though pricing hasn't been announced). But if you want to buy the band with a droid that's truer to the film, Sphero will also be launching an updated "battle worn" BB-8, complete with scratches and scuffs that the creators say make it "true to Jakku."

Next step, programming Sphero's BB-8 to give you the thumbs up.

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