Sphero's iPhone-connected robotic BB-8 droid was one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, and Sphero is hoping to maintain that momentum with the introduction of the Force Band, a wearable wristband that will allow BB-8 owners to control the droid using gestures.

For those unfamiliar with Sphero's BB-8, it's a small replica of the BB-8 droid that starred in the recently released Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. BB-8 is based on years of past iPhone-connected ball-shaped robotic toys that Sphero has released, and in our review, we called it Sphero's best toy yet.

The Force Band isn't going to ship out until later in 2016, but Sphero has a prototype available at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The Verge was able to go hands-on with the Force Band and gave some insight into how it works. BB-8's speed is controlled by hand elevation and direction is controlled by the orientation of the hand.

Resting your hand to your side enters driving mode. With your palm down, Sphero looks away from you; with your palm up it looks toward you. Spin in place, and BB-8 spins with you. The direction also dictates where it drives, and the rolling speed is at least somewhat affected by your hand's elevation. Waving your hand in place will enter a gesture mode -- the only one that worked for me was a nod "yes" when we did a quick right jab -- and then putting your hand back down re-engages driving mode.

Sphero's Force Band is an interesting solution because it will turn the BB-8 into Sphero's first product that won't exclusively require a smartphone for control. With the Force Band, Sphero will be able to be used sans iPhone.

Pricing has not yet been announced for the Force Band, and Sphero expects to release the device in the fall of 2016. The pictures shared above are of an early prototype version and the design of the final band will change.

Sphero has also unveiled plans to release another version of the BB-8 with a worn-out battle-scarred look.

Top Rated Comments

MaulRx Avatar
77 months ago
Apple Watch app?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mr.steevo Avatar
77 months ago
I really have to ask. How is this possibly a Macrumor?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
77 months ago
so unnecessarily expensive for a toy. apple watch app would be nice
Ideally, Sphero should do both. My kid got BB-8 for Christmas and having a dedicated controller that does not require iPhone or iPad would be awesome.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmh600cbr Avatar
77 months ago
so unnecessarily expensive for a toy. apple watch app would be nice
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
airpods prototype translucent

Transparent AirPods and 29W Power Adapter Prototypes Surface in Photos

Tuesday November 30, 2021 7:16 am PST by
Images of transparent prototype AirPods and a 29W Apple power adapter have been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti. The prototypes, which appear to be either first-generation or second-generation AirPods, feature clear plastic along the stem and around the outer side of the earbud, with the normal white plastic on the inner side of the earbud. Transparent casings are ...