Sphero Interview

Will from Orbotix, makers of Sphero, a robotic ball gaming system for iOS and Android, shows off their gaming system.

Transcript

Marcus
You’re Will? And Will, tell us the name of your company and your role in the company?
Will
I’m with Orbotix, the makers of Sphero, the robotic ball you drive with your Smart Phone and I am the Web Developer at Orbotix.
Marcus
You’re the Web Developer?
Will
Yeah.
Marcus
Okay. How long has—what’s the name of the company again?
Will
Orbotix.
Marcus
Orbotix. How long has Orbotix been in business?
Will
Orbotix is a Tech Stars, Class of 2010, and Sphero has been on the market for about 14 months, publicly available.
Marcus
So is this your first product then?
Will
Yes.
Marcus
Is this the only one or have you got some other stuff?
Will
This is the only one. The ball is a waterproof, super durable, poly carbonate shell with a sophisticated self-balancing robot inside. So sort of like some of the other robots you see here, but tiny.
Marcus
Tiny. Very cool. Okay. Can you give us a quick demo?
Will
I’d love to. So, the core of the Sphero experience is driving. And we have a beautiful app that runs on IOS and Android. You can use it to drive on any surface. Being waterproof it also runs in water. It also, you know, you can put it in a bathtub, in a pond, in a stream, anything like that. You can control its color. You can control its speed, and we have a little boost button so you can make it run, make it run extra fast for a second there. That’s the Sphero App there. Like I said, the core of the Sphero experience—we also have over 20 other apps available. We’ve been working really, really hard on all different ways to play with Sphero.
Marcus
Really?
Will
I’ll hold it up here so you guys can see it.
Marcus
Yeah.
Will
And so----
Marcus
Show us the app again real quick, if you wouldn’t mind.
Will
Yeah. This is the Sphero App, so there’s the directional control, there’s the speed control, the little color selector and a way to aim it, you can control his heading.
Marcus
Ah. Very cool. So what are you guys hoping to accomplish by being at Launch Conference this year?
Will
You know, we’ve found it’s a really great place to interact with Developers, reach out to people who are really interested in robotics. You know there’s so much cool stuff happening in the robotics space, it’s wonderful for us to meet those other companies and get more exposure for your STK, our out bounding program. We try to engage as much as we can with the Developer community so that people who want to write their own Sphero apps can or if they want to integrate Sphero into their existing apps they can. If they want to—you know, we want to show off our augmented reality software, we want to show off our controller apps, our driving apps, there’s so much stuff going on with Sphero, you have to see it in person really to really—I don’t know, to really “get it”.
Marcus
Very cool. If Sphero was a Super Hero, what would its super power be?
Will
I guess it would be indestructible.
Marcus
Okay. Nice! All right.
Will
That is its super power.
Marcus
[Laughing.] And how long have you been with the company?
Will
I’ve been with the company almost a year.
Marcus
Okay and the company’s been around, you said a couple of years now?
Will
Yeah we’re a Tech Stars Class of 2010. And the ball has been available since Christmas of 2011.
Marcus
How would people buy one of these if they want to get it?
Will
You can buy Sphero in retail stores nation wide, in Apple Stores, Brookstones, Targets. You can also buy online at Amazon and Brookstone and Apple and Target and Think Geek. You can buy it directly from us.
Marcus
What’s the price of one of these?
Will
It retails for $129.
Marcus
Very cool. Thank you very much.
Will
Thanks very much.