Sphero’s New Wristband Will Let You Control BB-8 With Gestures — And Also The Force

“We’re giving every Star Wars fan the power of the Force,” said Sphero CEO Paul Berberian.

He stopped by the TechCrunch stage at the Consumer Electronics Show today to show off the company’s Force Band, which will allow people to control the company’s BB-8 robotic toy with gestures. When pressed on how it worked, Berberian first said that “the Force works in mysterious ways,” but he eventually offered a little more detail.

“What’s really happening is, we’re detecting all the motions in [the user’s] body and we’re syncing those motions up to the sensors inside BB-8 — they’re completely aligned,” he said.

The Force Band will be available sometime this fall, at a yet-to-be-announced price, he added.

We also talked about how the robotics startup first started working with Disney to create a smartphone app-controlled toy based on BB-8 from the new Star Wars film. He wouldn’t reveal how many BB-8s have been purchased, but he said Sphero sold well over 1 million robots across all its product lines in 2015 – “the emphasis is on over.” And of course BB-8 was the top seller.

CES 2016