Realms of Play with Sphero

02 Oct 2012

There is something incredibly fun about driving a ball from your smartphone. And while making a ball controllable is a huge technical feat, it’s just an introduction to the possibilities for gameplay with Sphero. The shiny, glowing sphere you hold in the palm of your hand is unlike any gaming system ever created. With our recent launch of six new apps, including the first multi-player apps and first arcade-style game for Sphero, now is the perfect time to look into just how many realms of play this robot offers. Hint: there’s more than just the apps.

Multiplayer Apps – Party Games
Sphero is now old enough to party. Two of our newest additions to the app armory are multiplayer games – Sphero TAG and ColorGrab. With high-tech elements, Sphero puts a new spin on two types of gameplay that are fun for the whole family.

Sphero TAG is a techy take on the classic game. All you need are friends with balls. Using collision detection technology for the first time, score points by hitting other players when their Sphero turns red. Only have one Sphero? No problem. Launch the tabletop game Sphero ColorGrab for fast-moving gameplay that gets everyone involved. It’s a board game reinvented for the mobile generation.

The rest of Sphero’s apps can party, too. Launch the new and improved Sphero Golf, build a course, and take turns with co-workers or friends. With an updated interface and improved accuracy and control, it’s Sphero’s best round yet. Your options for multiplayer games with Sphero are literally as limitless as your imagination.

Advanced Game Controller
Sphero doubles as an advanced game controller when you hold it in your hand. Games like Sphero Exile and Chromo allow for enhanced gameplay like never before. Thanks to Sphero’s advanced quaternion-based IMU and sophisticated MEMS gyro sensor, you can enjoy these games with 360Ëš of movement and unparalleled control – all without obstructing the screen with your fingers. Third party developers are beginning to take advantage of this sweet capability, with apps such as Last Fish, Doodle Grub, AstroBall, and Etch-o-Matic. We can’t wait to see additional developers integrate Sphero into the equation in this unique way.

Drive – Swim – Play – Prank
There is more to Sphero than just the apps. Build custom racetracks complete with labyrinth traps and ramps – even swim Sphero through water features. Pick team colors, turn off the lights, and try to lap your friends! How about an office golf course? Use your imagination to create sand traps and holes for a Friday happy hour with your coworkers. And if you’ve never thought of pranking your classmates, friends, and family with Sphero – it’s time to get hacking. Here is just one way to confuse everyone at the local corner store. We  come up with surprising ways to play with Sphero every day. What can you create?

Customize with Accessories
Sphero looks good in polycarbonate. But he looks even cooler with custom skins, designs, and accessories. Create a chariot for Sphero to carry a camera, or make a fitted shark tail to help him propel through the pool. You can even wrap Sphero with a textured skin to make him roll more smoothly in different environments. Make Sphero your unique robot by customizing him with your own style and creativity.

Program – Create – Discover
Part ball, part robot. Sphero was built with the intention that outside developers would get involved in the process of creating the coolest robot around. That’s why from the beginning, the Orbotix team has made our Mobile API and SDK available to third-party developers. And for the less-serious programmers, we built a special app called Sphero MacroLab, where you can learn how to create easy, repeatable programs and macros for Sphero while getting a basic introduction to programming. To find out more about our developer programs including our Sphero Hack Tour 2012, check out our developer site. You can also see what other developers have been hacking on here.

Mixed-Reality Gameplay
We posted before about the fascinating scale of mixed-reality gaming, and how gameplay with Sphero falls somewhere in between the virtual and physical worlds. Every time you interact with Sphero, you are participating in an entirely new way to play. But just because he can, Sphero is about to completely tip the scale. Gaming is always evolving, and right now it’s headed in an exciting direction – towards augmented reality. With his unique design as a ball, Sphero is way ahead of the game. We’re not going to give it all away now, but we’ve got something pretty magical coming for this holiday season (check out Sphero as an augmented reality dragon in Ben Huh's hand above). Stay tuned for more awesome things coming from Sphero over the next few months!

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