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  • 09.03.15

Meet The “Star Wars” Droid You’re Looking For, A Smartphone-Controlled BB-8

Meet The “Star Wars” Droid You’re Looking For, A Smartphone-Controlled BB-8

Prepare yourself for holiday shopping scenes reminiscent of Jingle All the Way, because it will soon be possible to purchase your very own BB-8 Star Wars droid.

BB-8 looks like a distant cousin of R2-D2 and was first seen in the trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The movie hits theaters on December 18, just in time for everyone to lose their minds trying to get their hands on the tennis ball-sized toy in time for Christmas.

According to reports, BB-8’s creation came about after Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was at the time mentoring Colorado startup Sphero, showed the founders Adam Wilson and Ian Bernstein some movie stills of BB-8 and asked them if they could make it. Evidently, the answer was, “Yes.”

Sphero was already developing a similar smartphone-controlled rolling toy, minus the BB-8 head. The evolved BB-8 toy, complete with magnetized head, stands 10-cm tall and sports an accurate paint job. It’s charged via a Star Wars-branded dock, and controlled via Bluetooth on Android or iOS smartphones. It can travel 30 meters away from the user and reach speeds of five mph.

The accompanying app is loaded with Star Wars sound effects, and features augmented reality capabilities to enable BB-8 to project holograms. The toy will retail at $149.99 and goes on sale September 4th at retail outlets including Apple stores and Best Buy, as well as directly from Sphero’s own website.

By the looks of the toy in action, it seems certain that both young and old Star Wars fans will agree with the tagline. “This is the droid you are looking for.”