Star Wars Force Bandby Sphero

  • Star Wars Force Band
  • Star Wars Force Band
  • Star Wars Force Band
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PROS

  • This wristband lets you control the Sphero BB-8 toy droid with arm gestures, eliminating the need to use a smartphone app. It directs the droid (sold separately) to twirl, turn, and move to the left, right, backward, and forward.
  • You hear the voice of Star Wars' Obi-Wan through built-in speakers.
  • Some video games are included with the Force Band.

CONS

  • This wristband doesn't show the time, track fitness stats, or perform any non-gaming functions. To control the droid from a multifunctional wristband, use the app available for the Apple Watch.
  • Although an instructional video is included, the learning curve is kind of steep.
  • The band is on the pricey side.
The movie "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" spawned Sphero's 2015 release of a robotic toy modeled after BB-8, the adorable spherical droid that played a major role in the film and caught the fancy of sci fi fans worldwide. In 2016, Sphero issued a second version of the toy droid--similar except for a battle-worn, distressed appearance--in addition to the Star Wars Force Band, a wristband for controlling the robot with hand and arm movements. Aboard the wristband you'll find Bluetooth for communicating with BB-8, built-in speakers, and a USB port for charging the device. Battery life is only one hour with constant use and two hours otherwise.

The Force Band’s primary use is controlling BB-8. Once the band is switched on and connected with the droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi speaks to the us…

The Force Band’s primary use is controlling BB-8. Once the band is switched on and connected with the droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi speaks to the user through the band. There’s a speaker inside this band, making it and BB-8 completely independent of a smartphone, if that’s what you’re interested in.

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BB-8, the lovable spherical droid from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, stole our hearts the moment we saw him on stage at the Star…

BB-8, the lovable spherical droid from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, stole our hearts the moment we saw him on stage at the Star Wars Celebration in 2015. He had the chutzpah of R2-D2 but came in a more portable, technologically impressive package. OK, he's a rolling sphere – but still – it's hard not to love him all the same.

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It's not a watch, sadly, but it is a USB-chargeable motion-control wrist thingy. It glows, it talks...Most importantly, it acts as an invisi…

It's not a watch, sadly, but it is a USB-chargeable motion-control wrist thingy. It glows, it talks...Most importantly, it acts as an invisible leash for BB-8, letting you control it with waves of the hand.

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“The Force [in Star Wars canon, a life force that grants those attune supernatural powers] isn’t about … technology and Bluetooth, Adam Wils…

“The Force [in Star Wars canon, a life force that grants those attune supernatural powers] isn’t about … technology and Bluetooth, Adam Wilson, Sphero’s co-founder and chief software architect, told Digital Trends. “It should be more magical than that,” he said. In other words, the firm felt BB-8’s electronics — i.e., the smartphone required to control it — were ruining the illusion they worked so hard to create.

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The band is pretty big, incidentally. It felt big on me and I’m a grown up – physiologically speaking, at least. As Sphero happily pointed o…

The band is pretty big, incidentally. It felt big on me and I’m a grown up – physiologically speaking, at least. As Sphero happily pointed out, though, you can hide it under a sleeve (of your Jedi robe, naturally) to get the full Force push effect. There’s also a built-in speaker, so you can get BB-8’s bloops and blops delivered right to your wrist.

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A nearly 300MB companion app offers a minigame that helps you learn how to steer the toy around. The app also provides additional use for th…

A nearly 300MB companion app offers a minigame that helps you learn how to steer the toy around. The app also provides additional use for the band that isn't dependent on also owning a BB-8. In a nod to Pokemon Go, you can collect digital holocrons in the environment around you.

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The white plastic design of the original BB-8 and the band look like something straight out of Force Awakens, with a distressed, pseudo-futu…

The white plastic design of the original BB-8 and the band look like something straight out of Force Awakens, with a distressed, pseudo-futuristic design. Aside from the visuals, the toys remain pretty much the same on the inside. The band uses an accelerometer to track your hand movements e.g. moving side to side can turn BB-8's head or pushing forward can send it into driving mode.

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After you've advanced beyond Droid Control, you'll be able to expand your abilities as BB-8 guides you through Force Training, claims Sphero…

After you've advanced beyond Droid Control, you'll be able to expand your abilities as BB-8 guides you through Force Training, claims Sphero. Users will be able to use the band by itself to complete Combat Training for Blasters, Lightsabers, and the Force itself, or uncover and collect digital holocrons in your environment with Force Awareness.

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Obi Wan is long gone, but his voice comes to me nonetheless, reminding me to be patient and asking me to… “Choose my activity?” The voice, …

Obi Wan is long gone, but his voice comes to me nonetheless, reminding me to be patient and asking me to… “Choose my activity?” The voice, an uncanny blend of Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, is actually emanating from Sphero’s new Force Band, a device that lets you use the force…er…motion and gestures to control the already popular BB-8 by Sphero, a toy robot modeled on Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s scene-stealing BB-8 droid.

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Quickly sweeping my hand like a maneki-neko figurine sends the toy zooming ahead. The thing immediately collides into a wall and decapitates…

Quickly sweeping my hand like a maneki-neko figurine sends the toy zooming ahead. The thing immediately collides into a wall and decapitates. We reset the dome.

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