Robot balls: you don't need them, but you know you want them

Meet Sphero, the robot ball you can control with your smartphone

Here is an unnecessary thing for you to covet: Sphero, a robot ball you control with your smartphone, on it’s way this holiday season for $130 US.

What’s it good for? Who cares, it looks fun. You can guide the thing around with your finger, draw a path for it to follow, or use it in a small but growing library of games that blur the line between virtual and physical.

For example, golf. Take a swing with your phone in hand, and Sphero will react as if it had been smacked by an iron club. Orbotix, Sphero’s maker, is encouraging developers to come up with their own applications and games for Sphero, so who knows what the future might bring?

For starters, it’s a great way to mess with kittens and babies. Personally, I’d like to see a swarm of these beat the crap out of a Furby.

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