Sphero’s BB-8 was the most memorable bit of merchandizing among last year’s epic Force Awakens merchandising bonanza. It was the perfect piece of synergy – leveraging the hardware startup’s compelling piece of remote control technology to bring to life the film’s most marketable creation.
This year the company looked to take things a step further with the addition of the Force Band, a wearable that brings gesture control to the lovable robot, mimicking the franchise’s force pushes and pulls. It’s a fun addition, but a little tricky to control – and priced a bit high at $80 as a standalone (or $200 if you buy them as a bundle).
Appropriately unveiled the week of Black Friday, Sphero’s taking the Force Band’s functionality to a compelling new level with the addition of IFTTT (If This Then That) support. That means the sky’s really the limit on the sorts of things wearers will be able to control with the wrist band. Users can create commands to control all sorts of smart home functionality with a push, pull or stop. Behold, the Jedi coffee maker:
Sphero’s posted up some pre-made functionality over on its page – controlling smart lights like the Philips Hue is a pretty obvious one. And hey, who wouldn’t want to force pull a Tweet and Slack post or force stop some music? It’s probably more fun that legitimately useful, but the force still seems pretty strong with this one.