While at CES I paid a visit to Sphero.
Sphero, in a nutshell, is a small robotic ball controlled by your smartphone.
The ball itself measures a few inches across and can glow any color across the RGB spectrum.
This thing is pretty cool.
There is a simple (but not too intuitive) driving app on your phone (Android or iPhone) that can control the Sphero as it just rolls around. However because sphero has an open API, the hope is that developers can use the sphero and integrate it into their apps. This means that game developers could create some really cool augmented reality (AR) games. And because it’s open, anybody can integrate the code into their apps.
Because of this I got to be an exhibitor for them. No, not an official exhibitor, but since I was such a good driver I got a t-shirt, and next thing you know all of the people at the booth are asking me questions (which of course I could answer). That was a really cool experience because I got to see both sides of CES.
One of the most popular questions was: Where can I get this thing?
Answer: We’ll see.
These little robots are still in prototype form, and there are less than 17 (maybe more by now) in existence, and the shells are pretty fragile at the moment.
The release of these guys is going to be in late 2011, where they will be available for less than $100. Yes, less than $100.
HOWEVER, you can pre-order one for yourself at http://gosphero.com.
These little things seem to have a lot of potential with one of my favorite associations: OPEN SOURCE!