These are the droids you’re looking for
Since the first film’s release in 1977, the Star Wars universe has always been synonymous with toys and merchandise. Now once again, colorful droids, whirring lightsabers, and blaster-wielding heroes and villains line the shelves of every toy store to be snapped up by enthusiasts’ young and old alike.
For those of you who may be left confused by this menagerie of products, and perhaps looking for a gift for the Star Wars fanatic in your life, the “It” toy of the season is surely a remote controlled BB-8. Based on the scene-stealing droid introduced in The Force Awakens, BB-8 is a spherical droid who rolls in any direction, while his “head” floats magnetically atop his soccer ball shaped body.
There are two different, remote controllable toy versions of BB-8. Both offer the gimmicky fun of the gyroscopic head stabilization that allows for its full range of motion. The pricier model is about the size of a baby chicken (click here!) and can be controlled through a smartphone app that includes options to set it on an automatic “patrol mode”, receive voice commands, and includes a recharging base.
The larger, less expensive model runs on traditional AA batteries. It does not include a smartphone interface but is operated by a basic remote control with limited features. Depending on the target audience (small children versus adult gadget-geek), the choice here is fairly obvious.
BB-8 is iOS and Android compatible, can reach a top speed of 4.5mph and has over 1 hour battery power before needing to recharge.
The app enabled Sphero BB-8 is approximately $150, available online or at a range of electronics stores. Click the link for more information on BB-8’s features: http://store.sphero.com/products/bb-8-by-sphero
The $80 RC model by Hasbro is at all major toy stores including Toys R Us. Click here for more information: http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=60538026).
With the current popularity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, BB-8 is a great gift for adults, children, and the ultimate Star Wars fan looking for adventure “a long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away.”
Sean Kirby is a Client Support Specialist at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology assessments, consulting, maintenance services and CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Sean can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, please visit http://www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a Citrix Partner, VMware Partner, Microsoft Small Business Specialist, Microsoft Silver Partner, Dell Preferred Partner, BlackBerry Alliance Partner and Authorized Worldox Reseller.
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