February 20, 2012
Are you sick of playing games on a tiny screen? How would you feel about physically playing games on your iDevice with friends? Physical Apps, LLC., has created a product that puts your iPhone or iPod in the center of a ball with the goal of getting you off the couch. TheO is a specially designed large foam ball with a secure inner pocket to hold your iPhone. While on first glance this looks useless, or even crazy, when coupled with the specially designed mobile apps TheO allows players to get up and into games while safely protecting their iPhone. Introduced at the Toy Fair 2012 in New York, TheO - designed to be played indoors or outdoors - made a huge splash and won the coveted Popular Science Best of Toy Fair 2012 award. The idea, though simple, has great potential for those hoping to become more active. Bowling, for instance, is done by physically rolling the ball with the iDevice in it toward your TV screen where you can see the pins fall over. Using TheO is a bit like playing games on a Wii, but instead of controlling the game with your fingertips you play with a full range of physical motion. The apps make full use of the iDevice accelerometer and right out of the box you will be able to download three free games to play: bowling, hot potato and interrogo. Physical Apps is working on many other game apps priced from $1.99 for basic games to $4.99 for more enhanced apps. Additionally, Physical Apps will be opening up the API to developers so anyone can create apps for TheO. TheO is expected to be available to the public in May at an estimated price of $24.95. The first three apps - interrogo, bowling and hot potato - will be free to download making the new ball purchase immediately functional. If you can't see the video above, please click here. We think TheO has a lot of family fun potential and can even see party games being developed around it. What do you think? Does the idea of interacting with apps using a ball interest you?