Sphere’s BB-8 bot was one of the coolest toys to come out of the Star Wars: Force Awakens glut last year. It was a minuature version of the little dude from the movie, but controlled by your phone (and hackable via Sphero’s other apps). But now the BB-8 bot is all grungy looking and can be controlled with the FORCE.
So it is eminently cooler than last year’s model.
Force control is achieved via Sphero’s new Force Band, a wristicle that stays on your arm thanks to magnets in the clasp. According to Sphero, manipulating the BB-8 is as simple as a wave of your hand — we’ll confirm that when we review it next week.
In addition to bot control the Force Band also lets you engage in some Force exercises though a program called Force Awareness, that finds collectible holocrons as you roam around and uses the Band’s haptic feedback to help you locate and collect them.
And if your mouth is broken you can activate the Combat Mode, which makes all the whoosh whoosh noises you need for lightsaber duels.
The Force Band is available from major retailers starting September 30 and will go for $US80 ($106). A Special Edition bundle, that bundles the Force Band with a BB-8 will retail for $US200 ($266). We’ll have our own review of both devices soon.