Anki Drive smart (toy) car hardware nearly ready to launch?
Remember back during the Apple WWDC 2013 keynote, before we got into the meat-and-potatoes of the iOS 7 announcement, when Tim Cook introduced us to Anki? The company and its Drive app put on an impressive demo, using its AI app running on iOS to communicate with a number of toy cars over Bluetooth LE, and navigate them around a track. The autonomous action was pretty neat to see, and while the Anki Drive app has since become available for download, giving interested users a taste of what’s coming, it’s only a part of the experience, without the car and track hardware. Word was that Anki would make that stuff available sometime this fall, and now we’re hearing that it might hit retail before October’s out.
As entertaining as games on our phones can be, there’s a lot to be said for having some real-world fun, and Anki Drive aims to help bridge that gap. We can easily see this being a hot item this holiday season, both among kids and adults who appreciate all the AI decision-making going on behind the scenes, but there’s still one big question to be addressed: pricing.
Back in June, Anki was talking about something like $200 for a starter package, but we neither know if we’re still looking at something in that range, nor exactly what the bundle would include: a track and some cars, sure, but just how many? If this latest rumor is accurate, we’ll know in just a couple weeks.