Been keeping up to date with the quirky robotic ball named Sphero? We’ve been wondering when its Augmented Reality Engine would finalize into a full-fledged app since we first witnessed it as E3 as a simple 2D tech demo. Well, Today is the day that this Android and iOS-controlled ball makes it first official-release steps into the world of AR — the engine has grown up, powering Orbotix’s latest free app, Sharky the Beaver. While the game itself is still admittedly silly and demo-like since we saw an early adaptation in August, there’s no question that the AGR is now is a polished state.
As a refresher, unlike other implementations that require a stationary marker, Sphero serves as one that can move around your area, while also relaying information about its position. The 3D character on screen rotates its directions as you spin Sphero, and, as you can see above, it even allows you to pick the ball up while it’s being tracked. The frame-rate of tracking in the app itself looked very smooth, and it does an admirable job keeping track of the ball, even if it ends up off-screen. At the point, gameplay is limited to flicking cupcakes on the ground that Sharky goes to automatically, and there’s no word on if and when we’ll see the features shown off in the early version (namely, the part where the Sharky part of the name was actually a key element, as you chased people on-screen to get their cupcakes). All in all, we’re more curious than anything to see what else the folks at Orbotix will come up with in the realm of AR — for more in the meantime, check out the our video hands-on after the break.