Sphero BB-8, branded by some as the greatest Star Wars toy ever made (which is, surprisingly, not a hyperbolic moniker, given the high reviews it's garnered from tastemakers like Gizmodo and Polygon) has released some new software updates — all in less than eight weeks until The Force Awakens hits theaters.
The app-controlled, mobile, balancing-ball droid based on Sphero — a robotic sidekick set to make its debut in Star Wars' intergalactic, highly-anticipated seventh episode — has acquired some preloaded messages for its tiny holographic projector, delivered by none other than the original metal-bodied duo, C-3PO and R2-D2.
In earlier versions of Sphero BB-8, the spherical roving robot's holographic capabilities were restricted to the typical record-and-press-play racket. Using a free downloadable app, users could record a video message on their smartphone and then project it onto any given surface — with a catch. To make the holograms visible to the average owner, the holographic projector was only visible via augmented reality, making the hologram viewable only via the app-installed, Bluetooth-hooked mobile device.
The preloaded 'grams also adhere to the original AR-via-mobile construct and true to their respective characters. As expected, R2-D2's dialogue is a series of "bleeps" and "bloops," while C-3PO's three different configured one-liners stay true to his anxiety-riddled character ("R2-D2, you are a genius," "I've never needed your assistance more than at this moment!" and "Oh my — this is a calamity!"). All in all, the messaged droids are a heart-warming old-school addition to a new-school toy for any Star Wars fan.
Check out Sphero BB-8 in action in the video below.