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Sphero BB-8 wants to watch 'The Force Awakens' with you

The roly-poly Star Wars droid toy has some new skills to show off.

Cover your eyes, BB-8! It's a Kylo Ren bit!

CNET

Watch the newest Star Wars movie with Sphero BB-8, and movie nights will never be the same again.

Everyone's favorite charismatic droid was granted new powers on Tuesday, courtesy of a Sphero app update. Now if you watch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" with BB-8 by your side, the little bot will listen and respond to the film as it plays.

The chattering droid will cower when faced with Kylo Ren and pip and squeak like crazy for Han Solo and Chewie, according to the Wall Street Journal, which has already watched the movie in the company of BB-8. The experience is possible with the movie just now arriving on digital video services like iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Video so everyone can watch at home. The film is also available on Blu-Ray and DVD now in the US, and will go on sale in the UK in the coming weeks.

The new abilities gained in the update show that Sphero BB-8 is more than just a cutesy remote-controlled bauble. It serves as an example of how toys reliant on smartphone software can improve rather than degrade with age.

More features are in the pipeline for Sphero BB-8 later this year, the Journal said.

To make BB-8 into a couch companion, you'll need to have it tucked into a charging cradle so it doesn't roll off when villains appear. After updating the app and ensuring it's paired with the bot, point BB-8 toward the screen and play the movie. Your smartphone will pick up on the film's audio, and BB-8 will react with droid chatter accordingly.

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