The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. – William Gibson
I did see the future this summer – just in bits and pieces. Let me explain….
As many of you know, i had an amazing experience at Techstars this summer. Not only did we evolve our company Kapost in a new and better direction, but we got to meet and interact with some incredible mentors and entrepreneurs.
There’s a company i worked right next to this summer called Gearbox. This is two guys who are hard core robotics nerds – and i mean that in the best way. They have the only desk i’ve ever seen at a startup that has soldering irons and wrenches.
When they first arrived to Techstars, it was clear that they didn’t really know the best direction to take their company. They weren’t alone, lots of us had unclear paths. But they had a passion for robots, gaming and mobile devices and were looking for how best to apply this. As the months passed, they decided on a direction that was well aligned with this passion – which resulted in the Orbbott or the “Gearbox Ball.”
What is it? This is a robotic ball that is controlled by your iPhone or Android device. Not only is controlled but there are apps on your phone that you can use with the ball. Apps like Sumo (where you play against another ball) or Golf or, my favorite, “follow me” app. This is an application where you put the phone in your pocket and the Ball just follows you around the room. It speeds up when you’re far away and backs up if you approach it. I don’t know why, but i love this idea. It’s the best version of a robotic dog or cat i’ve heard of.
You can see a video below of them demo’ing their ball. It’s a great idea. They’ve invented a whole category of toys called “Smart Toys” and i think i’ve just seen the future. Thankfully, i was lucky enough to see it emerge from the very beginning.