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Sphero 2.0 is the little ball that could for Windows and Windows Phone (Hidden Gems)

Hidden GemsWhen I was growing up, RC cars and remote controlled gizmos were always underwhelming unless you could afford the 'big boy' toys preferred by hobbyists. In 2014, not only are connected devices becoming mainstream, the way we control them has shifted from dedicated controllers to our phones and tablets.

Sphero 2.0 (2013) follows on the footsteps of Sphero 1.0 from 2011 and is made by Orbotix. In essence, it is a ball that rolls around, controlled through your phone or computer. On the face of it, Sphero sounds…temporary, as in you have fun with it but only for a short time. After all, how fun can it be just to drive a ball around the house.

Turns out, it is damn fun. Watch our video review of Sphero 2.0 for Windows Phone and Windows to get an idea why. Remember, by leaving a comment, FIVE of you can win your very own Sphero 2.0 orb!

How Sphero works

Sphero 2.0 connects up to your Windows Phone 8.0 device or tablet through Bluetooth 4.0 LE. For those using the Preview for Developers and Windows Phone 8.1, you may have issues due to those LE drivers being disabled, at least until you receive Lumia Cyan proper. The pairing is straight forward, though like all things Bluetooth there can be occasional hiccups. Sphero pairs both through the Bluetooth and then you need to launch the companion controller app, which makes the final connections. Once setup, you are ready to, ahem, roll.

You can download the Sphero software for Windows Phone and Windows below:

QR: sphero

How much is it?

Sphero runs for about $120 at various locations ( Amazon), which is a bit pricey for is a toy. Having said that, it is an impressive toy that may provide you with hours of fun and relaxation (maybe not for your pets).

You can also optionally buy the Nubby cover, which lets Sphero grip the ground better for outside usage (and it offers some protection).

How is that fun?

So the $120 question is how much fun can you possibly have driving a ball around your house? It is a good question, because, after the novelty of moving the glowing orb around wears off, it seems obvious that boredom would set in. However, Orbotix did something unique around Sphero that keeps me interested: they told a story.

When a user first launches the Sphero software, they are presented with two options: 'Just Drive' or 'Level Up.' If you choose the latter, a high quality introduction movie tells the story of Sphero, including the drama of his planet and the 'Orbpocalypse' and the 'Anti-prism.' It is all tongue and cheek and quite entertaining. Once past the movie (you can always tap to skip), the app does a real good job of explaining the controls and how everything works.

If I had to describe Sphero 2.0, it would be like a game using the real world around you. Orbotix keeps things stimulating by constantly giving you incentive to use Sphero. For instance, the more you use Sphero, the more experience points you collect, and you can 'level up.' Those points (cores) can then be redeemed to unlock features in Sphero, including speed, agility, turbo boosts, customized colors, and even neat tricks. That is right Sphero has a few tricks including "jump" (more like a hop), freaking out like R2D2 from Star Wars and others.

Indeed, Sphero 2.0 starts off slow and hard to control. However, as you use him more and refine your ability to control him, you are rewarded by attaining higher speeds. It is a safe way to lure you into Sphero without causing too much frustration due to him being uncontrollable.

There is also humor. If you bump Sphero into a wall at full speed, he makes an "ouch" like exclamation.

Missions

The missions themselves, always with a choice of three, are witty and creative. For instance, one has you search for Tetron Agents, which means you drive Sphero around to find them. What is happening is the app has an invisible mapping component and when Sphero rolls over certain points, you find the agents. Often, these hunting missions involve Sphero acting like a beacon: as he gets closer, he starts to blink faster with an accompanying sound (it reminds of the movie 'Aliens' when the aliens are coming through the ceiling with the humans tracking them).

Another type of mission has you purposefully crash into objects to either "smash the Tetrons" or shake them off of Sphero. It is an ingenious way to let your Sphero rage out by purposefully running into things. The frustrating part is when your mission is to ram into things, suddenly you are the best Sphero navigator in the world.

A third mission is the opposite of the above: you need to maintain control, which helps teach you finer grained controls of Sphero's movements.

As your reward for these missions, you unlock more points and cores, letting you upgrade and improve Sphero. That to me is the fun part. Sphero 2.0 is not a static orb, but something that "grows" as you use it more.

Control and charging (and ramps)

Sphero 2.0 comes with its own base station for recharging. Placing Sphero on the station shuts him down and begins the charging process, flashing random colors to let you know the process has initiated. To turn on Sphero, you just place it on the floor and double tap to "wake him up." Battery life is impressive, or rather I have not used it for long enough periods to make it power down.

The controls can be finicky, though, as anyone who has used remote control devices tells you, it is all about practice. You do often have to calibrate Sphero by dragging his "tail" around until it faces you. That sets Sphero's orientation relevant to you and your controller. You can control Sphero through a traditional D-pad like interface or use tilting of the phone or tablet. Personally, tilting is way too odd, so I always opt for the D-Pad.

The apps for Windows and Windows Phone are universal, so they translate exactly. That is great if you like switching and your Sphero's progress is stored in the ball, meaning you can your progress over from device to phone or vice versa. I think the design of the apps is engaging, and I like the animations a lot as they add character.

Out of the box, you get the instructions, charging base and even two ramps. I am not good enough to use the ramps yet, but it is neat that they are there. Maybe someday.

Conclusions

The first time I saw Sphero at CES I thought it was 'cool' but didn't see it more than a novelty. However, I have to admit that the game and story element has changed my opinion. Sphero is more than clever, and it reminds me of some of the first interactive toys twenty years ago (Captain Power, anyone?). Is it worth the $120? Like many things in technology, it depends on your interest and disposable income. Assuming the money is not an issue, then yeah, Sphero 2.0 is a blast and just another silly mini-game you can play using real-world objects around you. It is pure geeky fun. I am not sure I would drop everything to go get one, but I am super awestruck that such things exist today. You may not be impressed at first, but when you think about the technology and development that goes into Sphero, it is something to think about.

The software for Windows and Windows Phone demonstrate the power of universal apps, and although they started off buggy, Orbotix is updating the apps on a regular basis, addressing concerns and flaws (I used version 1.1.6 in this review). I should note that the Sphero has accessible APIs, so there are third-party controller apps too like 'Sphero Drive' and 'Sphero Control' on the Store; while not as pretty, they are more streamlined and stripped down if you prefer that choice.

Finally, I should mention that Sphero Ollie (2b) is coming out later this year, which looks even more fun. I managed to interview some of the Orbotix team this year at CES, so check out that video above and make sure you watch our video review to see it all in action for Windows Phone and Windows!

What do you think of connected toys like Sphero – passing fad or is it the future? Let us know in comments and don't forget to check our other Hidden Gems!

Thanks to Mark Guim for the work on the video review

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Reader comments

Sphero 2.0 is the little ball that could for Windows and Windows Phone (Hidden Gems)

730 Comments

Remember: Leave a helpful comment about Sphero 2.0, you're entered into our contest to win one of FIVE Spheros! Helpful comments include what you like, what you don't like and how it could be made better.

Winners will be announced next week, so you can enter at any time. Multiple comments allowed, but only one will be picked. Contest is open worldwide.

Need more info about our Hidden Gems series? Read our announcement post here.

Especially cats. Put the rubber protective cover, spray some catnip on it (the first time, then the cat gets used to it), and watch it going crazy after the ball!

Catnip would not be nessesary with my cat. It attacks anything it pleases at that time. Be it your legs, a piece of paper (the cat plays fetch too - of he feels like it) , a simple ball or treats. The dude is always playfull. However, the leg attacking can be 'kinda annoying' when you are wearing shorts. Might want to try this ball, might help save my legs, lol.

Hmmm,never thought of it before but it looks like a unique and creative idea,I'm sure it could be expanded even further.Too bad Youtube is banned in Pakistan so can't watch the video review but read the entire article and it certainly looks cool and unique.What I'm really concerned about it is the durability.How long can it last?Considering it goes through rough terrain and use?I really would like to know the answer to that question.

P.S:-Story mode could be really entertaining but how long will it last?I mean would I get bored playing it after maybe 1 or 2 days?

P.P.S:Sorry for so many questions,I just can't watch the video :(

I have an old dog. He can't run anymore to fetch a tennis ball but would get a lot out of something like this even indoors.

Super Cool!!!!

What a mad new way to annoy friends and a great toy for playin with lil kids.

Would be cool if it had a speaker and you could transmit your voice to super spook out unaware folks.

Big thanks for a worldwide comp.

Looks pretty cool. A little on the pricey side. What I do like is the cool technology, being able to remote control a ball, much as you would an RC car, around the house and outside. I also like that they make you earn abilities. What would be really neat, though, is if they could offer a virtual world that you could steer the ball through on the display while you have it in a large open area like a field. Being able to control the ball through something like a vitrual obstical course while dealing with the real phyics of controlling the ball, seeing him superimposed onto said virtual world. They could create tons of new types of virtual worlds based on different types of play, and even have mock battles with it. A lot of untapped potential.

I'm sure kids would go nuts over this thing as well, and they would probably sell a ton more if the price were about half, but I don't know what their BOM is.

I agree it may be on the pricey side but the possibilities are endless. Imagine following it through your camera on your phone and obsticals on the screen of your phone or tablet like walls that stop sphero. now that would be one hell of a mini game.

Nice hidden gem again! I think that this is great idea but it is little bit pricy. I could think that my kids would love this but I'd have to decide one thing: Would I give "controller" (my dear Lumia 920) in the hands of my three years old son. There could happen some accidents when running around with 120$ ball and expensive phone. But... Could it be still great thing to have and addictive? And could it be worthy all the possible trouble that it might cause? YES!

I don't think it's just for kids to toy around... Even an elder person can have a good timepass with it... The device Is fun to play with instead of just playing on your phone

It has only 3 mission, if I have to pay $120 for a ball then it should have minimum 7 missions with different types of tricks else its not worth of 120 bucks.

This is gonna be my Pokémon :D I ll spook my friends with it .. :D I hope they could have added some small speaker in it .. Then it would have been amazing. Like I would have given it a Pokémon name & it repeats it.. ;) n I ll make some horror sounds in other room at night. Wow ..m evil. :D

Sphero 2.0 has a much better app for controling the ball and the app itself looks much better, more futuristic. Plus it's waterproof, so you don't have to worry about somebody driving it into a puddle.

One thing that I don't like about it is that it doesn't come with the protective cover, but maybe it doesn't matter that much since the cover is only $15.

Overall I think it's a great way to steer younger kids of the video games and encourge them to play with these new sorts of toys, and remember "The era" of mobile controlled toys was and is still popular (It's a timeless classic) brought to you in a new package.

i definitely want one.  It'd be a nice toy to play with when I'm bored.  I wish it had wings, but maybe sphero 3.0 will? 

i hope to win.  Thanks Rubino for making another contest possible.

That would really be a cool experience specially when your little one thinks you are not cool and you can show them a thing or two which in not mainstream. I would love to impress my boy with this little gizmo which for sure he wouldnt have heard of. A new dimension in RC for him. :)

This is preety cool.  Could be the best $120 buck I didn't spend if I win.  I would love to add a sound element to this.  Like project your voice or deliver a pre-recorded msg.  What if you could map your home layout and send it on a mission to your little sisters room and deliver a msg from Mom "dinner is ready"  You don't have to get off the game to do this now.  Cool.

My kids would love this! I would love to get one of these at some point. I have been fascinated with the apps that allow the use of an android phone or iphone as a remote control, but I haven't seen many that have a windows phone app. This would be really cool!

I can't see myself dropping $120 on it, but it looks like a lot of fun. It's just too pricey for what it is. Now if I were to win one...

Get a few rats and this thing and the amount of fun you can have is crazy. Rats with their high intelligence can have a hilarious effect on moving objects. This thing has massive potential there. I also see potential when playing with it near unsuspecting people and have them step on it. Worried that any owner of this device may end up paying other peoples medical bills.

Awesome idea I don't have cats but I have a friend who does.

 

They would be the 1st test subjects if I get my hands on one for sure lol

 

I guess that will be fun. Testing it on a dog may damage the ball if he bites it hard, not sure what kind of material they have used. But its fun for kids and pets, adults may get bored after some days because it is on Bluetooth the range is limited and we can't keep running behind it. I like the controls they have built into the app. It looks cool just like an high end joystick.

I think one of my cats would love this, the other would hate it. Ha! Wish there was a more compelling reason to buy one though, something to make it seem like more than just an RC novelty, such as more of a "I have to try that" game mode or something.

Adding few more expressions would be great while spining, swimming, jumping, or while on air... Great toy... Its futuristic...

Well you guys already mentioned the "solution" when people get bored on using this gadget, but still kudos to the people that thought of this simple yet fun tine killer! =)

I like the fact that Sphero can change colors than having to buy multiple devices. If I get it somewhere around $100 shipped with taxes, I may jump the ship.

It looks awesome and something that's a really unique experience shame that the price is going to put alot of people off...

Okay downloading I'll be back....
Okay so now first and for most i wanna thanks dev for making this app for windows... When i first download the app it was just not loading then reinstalling fix this issue....i hope the developer is listening that for me app is crashing a lot (Lumia 1520) so please provide an update... Thanks orbotix

Wow, what a little nifty toy - and real fun at that. This is one of those things you have a huge fun with and come back to it once in a while  - total de-stresser as well. Hidden Gem indeed. Am really tempted by this ...

 

I find the Sphero fun for small children and pets but even they get bored after a few minutes. It could be more useful with a built-in camera. As for the app I prefer Sphero Drive.
P.S. Please don't pick my comment because a Sphero is useless for me, I prefer that someone who will enjoy it gets it.

It would be useful if they could get manufacturing costs down for a 3.0. Currently it's more than I'd pay for the value it provides. Looks like a really cool and fun gadget though. Props to the devs for innovating.

I've always wondered what the point of that was but it looks like it could be a lot of fun and maybe a way to entertain my nephews in the back garden it would sure to bring them a lot of fun especially since in can be controlled with a WP device which is always a bonus.

So, with some motion sensors, you could probably program this to randomly go back and forth down a hall or into rooms, simulating someone walking around a house turning lights on and off.

Can you control this long distance?  Like pair it with a local bluetooth transmitter and then send controls via the Internet?

Lots of fun possibilities!

It going to be fun haha going to scare alot of people put it near them and when they try to pick it up I'll move it and baam they'll go HOLY!!!! But it will be unlimited fun. I will love to get my hand on one. Looks great too specially in Green. I hope I win this one.

They should market it for people with pets and babies. I had lots and lots of kittens previously and this would have been just the perfect toy to keep them occupied :D

This is actually pretty good considering the potential it has. It would be nice if this was accompanied by a video game and as you reach a new level or unlock something the ball changed colors, make a noise, speak, and or even presented a different face on the front like a smile or frown

Would be a good replacement for my floating duck in bath tub... Lol... Nice devs... Keep I up... Excellent idea....

Hi Daniel, great review and love the video. Can you talk about the durability of the exterior and the cover? Did it stand up to your pets? The last thing I want to do is drop $120 on a new chew toy that's gone in a week... :)

This just sounds like so much fun. I'm always one for RC helicopters and the likes, so the kid in me is way too excited to think about this.

Hmm, when I first heard of this it seemed like a gimmick that would fade quickly, but the review and knowledge of the story makes it more compelling. Plus, I'm sure my kids would love it, seeing as they are 5 and 2. Wouldn't mind winning one!

Wow, this looks really fun, even though the price tag is slightly above what an average Customer would pay for, it is certainly good for pets or children, and I'm sure it is great for adults too. My only question: Is it waterproof, for children or accidental steering issues? The stories and missions idea is definatly a great and innovative idea. But it all depends if you want to spend a hefty price tag for a slight gimick? I overall like this idea, but the price tag is putting me off, maybe I could win one ;) (I also love the glowing and simplistic look of the sphero 2.0'sz thank you for reading! :)

This seems awesome. I'd love to use it to scare/impress guests and I'm sure dogs and babies will love it.

What a cool and innovative gadget. Seems like you can have a lot of fun with it! I really like how it can move, and even jump! And as it can change colors, it can even be a decorating gadget for in my living room ;-) Would love to win one!

Question; How does it charge?

My kids would go crazy over this....unfortunately I can't see an easy way for all 7 to make a game out of this.... Seems rather solitaire ish.

Hm might get it for my bday
Love the fact that its different from other games in the store and looks like a ton of fun

Dislike the price! Maybe a little bit toward 70 then its a more attractive prospect

The things people will buy when they have too much disposable income. I'd love to have a go with one of these and can see my kids enjoying it loads, but $120? Probably after taxes would work out at £100ish over here which is more than a lot of people earn in a day. It'd pay my council tax for a month, or a weeks food shopping, or almost cover the cost of my house insurance.
But yeah if I had the money, yeah.

Mentioned in the article. It requires BT LE which was disabled in 8.1 preview until cyan firmware. Either downgrade the OS or wait for cyan!

Be a good time killer. But I'm sorry I can't buy into this, it's not for me. However I'm happy to see this on our platform. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean it's not someone else.

It will be great and cool to made mad my dog, but as other said I'm one more of those who live in a country where you can't get it :(

Nice gadget. I could put my 2 years old chasing it around while i will stay in my chair instead of chasing him around. It looks like a must buy for everyone with little kids or pets!

Wow this seems like the ultimate pet entertainment system! Wonder if they'll include about to include laser\ light attachments as hardware upgrades.

So a review of a review - reviewception! What's not to like about the Sphero? It's a remote controlled ball that essentially has a game with it, I like, and with today's review, it's easily noted that Daniel likes the Sphero as well, which is always a plus too any review; showing emotion (especially with the whole ordeal of Hidden Gems). What could be better though, at least to me, is showing more in-app screen shots, I like how the missions are talked about, but can I see missions too? However, if you did that intentionally, I hate it how it works too get my curiosity up.

Either way, good use on emotions to show that you like the app (and toy), but a couple more screen shots wouldn't be a bad thing. :)

This looks like a lot of fun. And if it doesn't spook my scaredy cat, she would probably love it. The upgrade aspect seems interesting as well. It would definitely make it take a lot longer to be boring.

One thing I do wonder about is how well it works on carpet. If it doesn't work well, or at all, it seems it would be pretty limited for a lot of people.

Very cool. I wonder if there is a big social following for Sphero. Like user videos of tricks and performance and whatnot.

It looks like a pretty cool/fun gadget. I know I'd Love to own one. Seems like a good way to mess around when you're bored. The price is slightly hefty but I suppose its probably worth it.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

My kid would go to town with this.  Might want one of those covers though, as they seem much better in the grip dept.

Definitely too pricey for me, but it looks super cool and I'm sure me and my cat would have fun with it. Thanks for the review!

This is one of those really cool must-have toys that brings out the inner kid in you. I once had a dumb version of this as a kid; a battery-operated plastic ball with an eccentric weight spinning round inside that basically rolled anywhere. But Sphero is in a different league. If I had one there would definitely be a fight on between myself and my 10 year old son for control. There must be endless things to do with it; slalom courses, ramps, hide and seek. A good add-on would be treasure tag type articles you could hide around a garden, park or room. Sphero has to find them all and could emit a noise as he got close to them. I think adding your own voices or FX to it would be great too!

This looks so cool, I can imagine having a ton of fun with this product. I can imagine building obstacle courses around my home and then passing the phone around so my kids and I can take turns in trying to obtain the best time etc. I am sure my dog would also get a kick out of it, but I wonder how well it would stand up to ultra sharp puppy teeth? Very interesting indeed.

Nice. It seems like that sort of thing to distract a tired or busy mind for a few hours. I would think of getting one. It would be nice if they had options for modding the balls. A flaming one would be great..

What a fun little idea! The story mode also makes it sound like you'd actually get some longevity out of it, rather than just roll around for a few hours and they bored. The unlocks sound cool too.

A tiny inbuilt speaker would be very amazing for startling siblings. If it was loud enough, of course.

For the happily purile, amusing noises could be unlocked too, slowly roll it under your aunt's chair on Christmas day and pick a noise for "her" to make... For example.

It would be really cool if there was an augmented reality app to go along with it. Something that used your camera on your phone to create a virtual course to drive the ball through.

Sounds really fun, indeed: I like the idea of merging our world and a virtual "concept", while not using pseudo-augmented reality as some would have tried to. Nice review, by the way :-)

It looks so cool! I have watched multiple videos on it, and it is just SO AWESOME! I would have lots of fun with this thing! I love how simple, yet how advanced it can be!

First I would try it on my 3yr cousins... Will definitely surprise him.... Coolest gadgets about which very less people on earth would be aware of...

At first thought I don't see it having much shelf life... But I know this will be one of those addictive little things that you wont put down once you start levelling up. A great time and stress killer

Good app, great device and a good improvement from the original sphero. Would like to have it for my little sisters but the price is somewhat high. Love the colors, they match the colors of windows phones. Also love their support for Microsoft's platforms.I think that these kind of connected devices are the future but only if these devices reach emerging markets and are cost effective.

Hmmm this seems pretty cool. My son loves anything that rolls. If it is in a ball shape, it's ON! So I might have to look into this as a present for his B-day or something. Nice that it will run on his Lumia! :)

been eyeing this for a while to get the small dog riled up. didn't know about the game aspect of this ball. might have to consider getting one if there's a deal one day. would probalby need the cover also to prevent the dog saliva on the ball itself. :)

$120 is a bit steep, but I like the idea a lot. I could see it putting more of a show in retail if it went for under $90.

It actually looks amazing though that friction cover could be included for free as a protection device. I have a dog and think that would be a great toy (for small pets only or they'll try to swallow it), and if it isn't already on the application some sort of game like a virtual maze where you play on your phone and the ball does the job on the floor. And maybe some Wi-Fi support... Bluetooth has a lot of glitches and you can't go long without having to follow it with your phone or else you'll lose connection.

Augmented reality applications would be great fun. Especially for my nephew who always steals my phone/tablet whenever I come to visit him, just to play my games. Plus, could keep my dog mildly entertained as well.

But seriously, it's good to see this type of thing coming with official support for Windows Phone.  Not sure I'd pay $120 for it, since it seemingly serves no purpose but to have a bit of fun, but I'd happily take one for free and then give you my opinion.

I had the same first thought, how can moving a ball around be fun for hours. After reading to the end, I WANT one. Love the colors!

The first thing I thought of was racing.  All kinds of ideas there; basic oval, complex track, obstacle course, maze, knock over dominos or something for a check point.  And with the API available you could even integrate it with a App that provides virtual tracks or even online competition.  I'd also be curious to see if the API has access to the your Sphero's capabilities so you can handicap them one way or another for a given race.

I owned the original version but sold it due no windows phone app available to control it. Would be nice to try it out again with the new version and official app.

I think it would be really cool if it had a built in webcam. Especially so if we could control it via the internet, I could chase my cats and have a look around the house while I'm out or at work.

I think I would get great entertainment from this by having my 3 year old chase it. The more I think about it, all 4 of my kids would provide me with entertainment.

Seems cool for a small bit, but then will lose it's fun after awhile. Would be kinda cool to try before making actual judgments on it. Price is going to be a big killer for it though..

Ever since the first sphero came out I have wanted one. The inner child in me could spend hours playing with it.

Awesome! That would be fun. I like that it tells a story. Would be cool to see peoples reaction to a random rolling ball across the floor. :)

I think the concept of a remote controlled ball is really cool. If only it could bounce on command. That would make it even more awesome!

I really want to give it a go but am not sure about the money to spend if a trial basis was available with a virtual machine on another device it would be great and give us all a great idea on how control can be used digital to physical.

Looks quite fun actually. I'd love to try it out with my pets and/or kids considering that I'm the laziest mofo around haha

It looks/sounds like so much fun!! I love that it has an engaging story mode, that really pushes it into a top notch product

Could be a cool way to entertain young ones or animals. Other than that, I don't see myself using it much. Maybe I'm wrong?

I want one of these. I'm also happy to hear that Windows Phone now has this app, as I was jealous of iOS and Android users who had it. Awesome!!

Well.. Basically I like the idea. It gives a lot of possible innovations which could be embedded in it. The ideas are endless. For example we can have a speaker in the ball which could directly transmit my voice from my WP. I could tell my sister to bring me a drink when she's in kitchen or tell my little brother to come to my room. Sure it makes you even more lazy but we like to be lazy don't we?

At first I thought it sounded like a fun -albeit expensive - cat toy :) however, level up takes it to a whole new world. Truly taking gaming into the real world. Interested to see how mapping works :) my apartment is tiny ;)

It's a really cool toy
I like the motion control element and the fact it changes color
What I didn't know about, was the story mode and leveling up... Makes me really want to get it now
It's a great idea, use the world around while controlling and levelling up
Improvements from me would be to create some more characters or different designs for sphero... But its a great way to have fun, bring back the kid in you :)

Reminds me of my old Sony Ericsson that had a Bluetooth mini rc car. Wicked potential for this little device. Would be nice to have at work to kill time when it's slow. Probably wouldn't live long around my PitBull, but might be worth the entertainment though. Can't wait to see what they come up with next.

They've been very smart and have taken something that should just be a gimmick and given it a smooth interface and unlockables to keep you coming back. It's a well designed app with immediate appeal. I have a surface pro 3 preordered (UK) which looks like it makes driving easier with the larger d-pad in your video.

Just looking at it, it is so well designed you wouldn't worry about giving it rough treatment!

To me it looks like great fun, and something friends would be entertained by as well as the animals. I feel the story mode could run dry for personal use, but the devs seem like the type who will keep giving to add to the entertainment in the longer term.

Sadly, the price places it outside of what I would pay as its hard to justify it, since it doesn't add anything practical. Nevertheless, it is a true gem!

Most expensive mini game. I can't imagine this having alot of replay value. If I win it I will know for sure though!

Sphero is amazing. I wish I had one. There is a lot of potential for developers as it could be used to turn many games into reality from Drop Ball to Maze Games.

I got one when WP (Windows8) support arrived. Sphero 2.0. And frankly having no issues with WP8.1 DP.

I also got the Nubby cover, but I mostly use the Sphero without the cover. The Sphero is very durable and can even be used in bad terrain as well as in the water. And you'll notice moving with the Nubby cover takes power, so the Sphero is less agile with the Nubby cover on.

Battery power is great and make me use the Sphero a LOT more then my AR Drone 2 for instance.

Would love a second Sphero so I can play at the same one of my kids would be playing theirs. Thumbs up for Sphero. A great toy to play with.

BTW try the Disco move. A move to show (off) the Sphero is doing something cool :)

This is great that it is pet friendly and seems to be durable (based on the fact they want you to ram it into stuff). However, I doubt my cat would be Sphero friendly....

Sphero reminds me of when I used to buy those laser pointer kits with 20 or so different designs/heads. You'd think turning off the lights and shining lasers would get boring after a few minutes, but I lost hours in the dark thanks to that fun little habit!

Missions and "leveling up" are the very features that get me hooked on apps. Throw that in, and Sphero becomes even more entertaining.

Good job to the makers of Sphero! It's been a while since I've seen a "toy" I actually wanted.

Yes!! I can use this to get my obese cat (Shadow) in shape. The story is fine for most but I can see this as some sort of interactive weight control remedy for pets that can really help reduce their body fat.

Shadow, you're going to be svelte and more confident. RLMAO YES!!

My nieces would love this! They need these on display at Microsoft Stores. Go out and tease some people inside the store.

This looks quite cool. I like that they've given sphero and story and a little personality. It looks slick and the app UI is gorgeous. I think I'd play with it for a while, but I'm not convinced that I wouldn't get bored. It feels more like a novelty than something I would play with long term, even with the story. Though I do admit, terrorising the cat with it has a definite appeal.
I was very interested by the video with the makers, where they mentioned the app they use with school kids to help teach math and programming. I think that the ability to program sphero would be more interesting long term. That's really something that would hold my interest.

This sounds like fun I'd take this to my friends house and just release Sphero and just mess around sounds like a blast.

I like the game aspect here, seems neat, but it seems (without looking at any videos) that this could be somewhat fragile, but there are ramps for it so I don't know.

It does look like a LOT of fun, and seems on video to be pretty high quality toy. But that is a steep price tag.

I think its much like your childhood analogy, but you get to play with these toys now because you've become a big boy yourself. What is the explanation for "Blue Balls" being at the top of the screen in Danny's video? Was he playing with it while sitting on the ground and lost control?

The mission/game aspect of it sounds rather fun. Like someone else said a camera on it would make it alot better i think!

This is the laser pointer of the 21th century. It makes me want to start allergy therapy so that I can have a housecat again!

I think this is a cool way to get used moving things around with your phone. One day we will look back and say: It all started with this little ball!, when our butler robot brings our coffee...
Seriously, I need to get one of those to mix up the cubicle life a bit :)

So simple yet fun and functional. This is actually something I would do if I were bored, which is often lol. The app looks clean and simple. The colors are cool. Yep, I would use this .

Seems awesome, would never spend that much money on it though. Maybe something around $50. Would love to scare my cat with it a couple of times and see her reaction. Its a cool begining, the concept and the app are really wwll done, hope they develop more interesting toys

Looks great! I'm thinking a WiFi version with built in speaker and microphone would make for some more fun and games!

This looks cool future versions could be Cars Trucks and other vehicles, I'd pay 120 for a Bluetooth boat with the same features as the ball. Also does this work with the HTC 8x?

this is and I wish I can win won so that I can have my three year old son play with it....right now he is scared of playing with RC cars..the Spehro 2.0 looks very friendly and will certainly be a blast for my son once he starts to play with it...appreciate the opportunity to win.

This looks like a really fun toy that I probably would get tons of fun out of. I like the clever ways they have made missions, keeping it interesting for a longer period.

looks great and fun but i'm concerned about the durability of this.

on a different topic... the app just look amazing! great work of the developers. 

 

Looks good, and should be a laugh, I was thinking not sure if possible or not some sort of local multiplayer mode either taking turns or a friend has a second one and somehow links,

If not maybe global leaderboards or some form of mini competitions. Definately impressive though.

Wow, this looks way more fun than I first thought. I like the gaming aspects they've included. I wonder, can you have the same sphero at different levels depending on the user? (sorry if that was mentioned in the article, I did a quick read.)

I think this little gadget is exceptional. Even when i thought it was just a simple ball that you roll around it was amazing for me, but now that i found out about the "mini quest" and "level up" options i love it even more.
I think you can have alot of fun with it, even better if your friends have it (so you can organise mini races with them or similar competitive stuff) or if you have a pet you can use it to play with them too with the nubby protecting it firmly.
The potential ammount of fun that it can bring is worth the price.

Well it looks fun..
And the app looks stunning and interesting.. Though it would be more fun if there would be something that could make it jump..
Overall i think very good for killing boredom

Almost one year ago I send a lot of emails to sphero contact telling them we want an app fore windows phone and they just tell me that they have no plans for doing it, so I'm so happy to see it in action here! :D

The app looks a little weird sometimes but looks like playing with sphero could be very fun ;)

It would be great if you could record a macro of movements, so that it could run around by itself on a course you make. AND, if it knew what speed it was doing, if you got it to bump into things, it could effectively map out where obstacles were and then avoid them in future (assuming a consistent start position).

Woah

Anything that interacts with the real world interests me. Kind of like augmented reality. Also I am sure my 3 year old would love it.

An initial take on what the product offers, and it certainly feels a bit limited, short on fun that might last too long. But the story mode and the capability of Sphero to pick up new bits and tricks sounds nifty.

Despite what it offers, I'm afraid I fail to see any long-lasting impact that it might make. My understanding is that there are various games and applications available to use with Sphero as well (especially on other platforms), however the limitations of its available functionality limits its usage overall and thus quickly allows the user to outgrow it.

Sphero is seemingly a toy that's fun having around the house to show off a bit at times but you get tired off quickly.

I'll agree this is unique, but when I play games, I have litlle to no floor space to work with (Waiting at the dentist, on a bus / train etc). So this would be usless for me.

Sphero can be purchased at Brookstone. It comes back every once in a while.

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Looks pretty sweet. I have to admit that I had never paid much attention to it before, but after reading the article I must say, I am impressed. This would be a sweet addition to my Lumia Icon. I would love to win one since I can't really afford one at the moment.

As someone mentioned before, trying it on a cat would be pretty interesting. (if I win I feel sorry for my cat :P)

I have tried Sphero 1 and it was fun :) However it seems that you need to recalibrate very often which can get a bit annoying...
Another thing is that I have the official app installed on my phone but I can't see it anywhere, not even in Storage Sense but in the WP store it says that it's installed...

What until Cortana can control this thing. 

The ball-related possibilities are endless...for something without opposable thumbs at least.

Wow this looks good. The last time I saw sphero was when the only thing it can do is just roll haha. Now there's a lot of improvements. I like the UI of the app, it looks very modern and clean. I also love that they added missions to it. For sure, my younger brother would love to play with it. I like to see sphero with more missions, like the place where it is will be its stage then as you roll you will be able to see obstacles in the phone, like holes, that you need to avoid, or places where it has to jump or dance. I'm seeing games like Sheep up, except that you are playing with a real device. That will be cool :)

It sounded nifty when I first heard about it, but I can't justify spending $120 for a ball. However, your review shows it may be more than that. I may spring for it sometime.

I used this app earlier too with my friends sphero ball but it was not that great at that time! Now I'm gonna try it again and lets see how it works!

This actually looks like a lot of fun. I believe this is one of those things that are created to showcase what technology can do more than anything else. Overall, it looks like something that has that geek factor of "we do it cause we can" but it's also really really cool. I would have a lot of fun with this,

I think it's just a toy, but if used in the right way can be a lot more fun. I'm just thinking at a dog running while i'm playing with that Sphero! It would be too much funny to see that and play with that, for me and for an animal that can not play a lot outside. It's also good if used in the right way to play with a baby, they love colours and this item seems robust too. Onestly it's a brilliant idea that made by who developed this thing, with a bit of fantasy it can be useful and fun in a lot of different ways! 

I think however that it would be nice if it was water resistant and could be used under water.. woah!

It would be perfect for babies I cant imagine the smile on my nephews face .... They did an amazing job turning a simple toy to something far advance and fascinating

Out of all the recent inventions, this is a complete gamechanger. Its more like a real-virtual toy. Would love to have one. It would be fun to play around with it in my office or maybe freak out someone in a theatre. Would have been even better if it could play songs.

This looks really cool. I have bought a few regular RC-controlled things for my son, but as pointed out, they lose their novelty value quickly. The storytelling aspect and the achievements here seem to be a way to keep things fresh beyond "look at that thing move". I always love the idea of "augmented reality" aps and the part about integrating maps into the app and having the ball use those is very appealing. Going to check into this thing...

This is cool! Is there an option to interact with other Sphero's? It would be awesome to see a gang of Sphero's tagging it out :)

It looks cool. I like the idea of it all, especially for pets. However I'd be hard pressed to spend money on it, and $100+ is simply absurd if you ask me. I'd rather stick with a tennis ball I found for free.

My two year old would go nuts over this, especially once he realized how I was doing it. He'd be fighting me for the ball AND the phone lol

Oh heck ya!! Sphero is a super cool toy for the new generation, can also drive your cats and dogs craaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU! as a grandfather runnig around with a 5 year old this technology would be a great help to me... i could sit and still interact with my little girl ( and rest my back) ! it would actually be more of a remote control for my granddaughther, lol!

These new hidden gems are great! This one seems cool!

I like this idea, and how it works. It seems fun! A better version of a remote controller car! :D

We need something like this with a camera in it. Obviously it couldn't be exactly the same to get a steady shot.

This toy looks like wonderful ! The price is a little too high for me, but maybe in few months i would buy it...

Ever since purchasing a sphero, it has been really cool to use it. However there were some problems and the ball was clunky for me. But now that sphero 2.0 is out I am awaiting my delivery right now, and I hope my problems will disappear with the updated ball! I would recommend this product anyway...

I kinda want one of this. I thought they looked pretty cool when the WP blog noted them.

 

But I'll wait for a price drop.

Sounds like fun for messing with the cats or dogs but hope they don't break it otherwise that is one expensive toy. I don't see me using it for anything else that just the pets as the novelty would wear off quickly.

I love this product aside from the price. I was messing with it in Brookstone, was about fi buy it, then realized that I was paying $120 for a plastic ball.

Like it. Like it a lot. Wouldn't mind this for my youngest. It's the updated version of BIGTRAK haha.. Now who remembers that? I had hours of fun with that beast. I think it used to take either 6 or 8 large batteries. Oh how times have changed.

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This looks fantastic. I really love the idea of making a game out of it. The Sphero alone would keep anyone entertained for quite a while at first, but the game play model will keep them coming back everyday. Pure genius.

looks cool, but is pricey and looks delicate.

also, it might be good if it could work with wifi and not only with bluetooth, might help with the range.

I had one of my IT customers get "recruited" to work on this project. It was about 2 years ago and we were discussing the possibility of WP support. Glad it came through!

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