We’re hitting that time folks: a month an half after Pokemon Go became the only thing worth thinking about or doing in the world, the first bizarre products trying to tap into the hype are emerging. But I’m not just talking about silly external battery packs with a Pokemon decal on them. Some entrepreneurs are going all out in the race to attach themselves to the money-printing machine that is Pokemon Go, and this latest one is so ridiculous and silly it might actually take off.
A real-life Pokeball
The team over at GamerReality have designed and build a real life Pokeball that serves as a remote control for Pokemon Go. Part Nintendo Wii controller, part tennis ball, this kinetic controller takes the on-screen Pokeball throwing gesture and brings it into the real world.
The ‘Official Trainer Ball’ (something tells me the complete absence of the term ‘Pokemon Go’ in the campaign means Niantic hasn’t approved anything at all, but hey, ‘best steaks in town’) is now on Kickstarter looking to raise $25,000. With this real-life Pokeball, instead of using a virtual swiping motion, you can “catch Pokemon the way they were meant to be caught” – which I have to admit is a pretty catchy tagline.
How it works
According to GamerReality, “it boils down to using the same technology that powers SnapChat’s face detection. If you add that with the data we get from the accelerometer, plus a two way detection from Bluetooth, we can create actions in the game based on the Trainer Ball’s pinpoint location from the camera.”
The Trainer Ball is made of a soft rubber so it’s apparently safe to throw around and it pairs with your phone via Bluetooth. Accelerometers track your arm motion and work in tandem with the camera so you can either throw the ball as described above, or just make the throwing gesture without actually letting it go. This is obviously a better approach when in crowded public spaces or near water hazards and so on.
It’s also a battery pack
Perhaps the most logical part of this so-ridiculous-it-might-actually-work project is that the Pokeball contains an external battery pack too. As everybody knows, Pokemon Go is a double-edged sword when it comes to batteries. On the downside it sucks battery juice like nobody’s business, but on the positive side, its worldwide popularity means we should see OEMs finally putting bigger batteries in phones. The Trainer Ball aims to charge your phone 2-3 times.
The Kickstarter campaign has 44 days to go, ending on September 29 and has already raised $1,600. Pledges start at $1 and $35 will get you an early bird Official Trainer Ball, which should ship in December if everything goes to plan. A second wave of early bird shipments is planned for $45 backers shipping in February 2017. The regular price will be $55.
Thoughts? Might this actually take off?