Review: Spider-man comes to life as an interactive toy for kids from Sphero

Amazing toy concept, takes some time to grasp, not for the youngest ones

Those crazy cats at Sphero just can’t stop can they?  First with the rolling ball robot, then BB-8 from Star Wars, just last month the new Lightning McQueen and now this – Spiderman!

Spider-man is really not like anything else from Sphero, because it’s not a toy you can control, in fact – it doesn’t move.

Instead, this is a toe in the water for Sphero in the world of Artificial Intelligence, voice recognition and the like.

This little guy is not cuddly, he has a hard rubber outer casing which gives him that red and blue spiderman look, and he’s made to sit on your bedside table, and to pickup now and then to go on adventures.

Sitting by the bed, Spider-Man can tell you a story.  Effectively giving you comic book adventures without the comic books.

When you head out, you can tell him to guard your room, and whenever he detects motion he will warn off intruders with a spider-man quip.

But it’s the missions that are the most fun.  Ask him to take on on an adventure and he will enact a story which might require you to dodge a car, or fight a villain.  All of this you do by moving him about and using voice commands.

Perhaps my favourite feature though is his comic sense of humour.  Ask Spider-man to tell you a joke, and he will.

His eyes are little LCD screens which give him some life – though nothing like the feeling of realism that comes from Lightning McQueen’s screen, and while the while thing is voice recognition driven that will present challenges for the young ones.

Set as an 8+ toy, my 5 year old was bitterly disappointed to be unable to use it.  He could, but it took some time each command to get him to recognise that cute little five year old tone.

Even my 10 year old needed to adjust his speech to suit.  That’s fine for voice controlled dictation, but this is a kids toy, so in reality there’s a lot of work to be done by Sphero to really perfect that.

Nonetheless, it’s a sensationally fun toy.  Hours of fun for the kids fighting crime with Spider-man.

You’ll find Spider-man at Apple Stores, EB Games, Zing, News Link and Tech2GO for $249.99

 

 

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Tech

Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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