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Apple-highlighted iOS toy Anki Drive gains new cars, tracks & race mode

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Anki Drive, a lineup of iOS-compatible intelligent toy race cars which were originally exclusive at retail to Apple Stores, expanded on Wednesday with new cars, tracks, and an entirely new race mode.




Existing Anki Drive owners will be able to upgrade their cars with new artificial intelligence programming, making the robotic vehicles smarter than ever. The update also adds a new Race Mode to play sessions, allowing the first driver who reaches 15, 30 or 45 laps to win.

The new features can be accessed by updating the official Anki Drive app available in the iOS App Store. Version 2.2.0 features the new race game type, a "boost" support item for all cars, improved in-game setup, an in-game scoreboard and various bug fixes.

Two new tracks are also now a part of the Anki Drive collection, with Crossroads placing an intersection in the middle of the road designed as a sort of figure-eight, while Bottleneck sees the track narrow at certain points, allowing less space for the vehicles. Both tracks can be bought for $99 each, and preorders are available now.




Finally, the Anki Drive family has also gained two new vehicles: Corax, billed as the "ultimate warrior" with multiple weapon mount options, and Hadion, a "built for speed" vehicle that comes equipped with "Turbo Boost." Each vehicle runs $69.

While the new cars and tracks are available at Anki's website, the company said the products will also be available at "select retail stores" in the coming weeks, likely to include both Apple retail stores as well as Amazon. When they launched last fall, the products were initially exclusive to Apple's own retail stores for a limited window.

Apple was so impressed by Anki Drive that the company chose to showcase the product at last year's Worldwide Developers Conference. The company ran a demo that showed four tiny remotely controlled cars each communicating with an iOS device over Bluetooth Low Energy to drive around a miniature track.




The product eventually went on sale to the public last October at Apple's retail stores with a starter kit priced at $199.

What makes the toy set interesting is the autonomy of each car. With the AI handling steering, players can take control of the gas and fire imaginary guns, as well as special weapons like a tractor beam, at other racers. Shooting bullets and other weaponry is limited to a car's line-of-sight, while effects are played out as if in a video game.

For example, if one player is trailing and strikes a critical hit on the car ahead of it, lights will flash and the toy will come to a halt or slow down as if disabled. On the iOS device, sound effects play and the handset vibrates in reaction to the strike. A point system grants players power ups and access to special abilities that can be used in future races.
post #2 of 20
Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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post #3 of 20
Looks boring and overpriced for what it does.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
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Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
post #4 of 20
paz, I could not disagree more. Its a real live video game that reacts to you. It learns! The word innovative is tossed around today with reckless abandon, when few things truly are. Anki drive however, deserves the title of innovative.
Edited by whoda - 4/16/14 at 11:26am
post #5 of 20
it's cute, looks like fun, but it should be $100 for the kit max, and extra tracks should be less than $30.
post #6 of 20
You could NOT be more incorrect. The game is great fun and is WAY better than mind numbing screen based games. We bought it for our grandson at Christmas and it has remained a favorite. The entire family gets in on the action as we purchased the extra cars as well. I admit that I had some reservations at first, so we actually went to the apple store shortly after it went on sale and talked them into allowing us to open it up after we purchased it so as to play with it there IN the store. As there was the Apple return policy, we told them that if our grandson did NOT take to it instantly it would be a quick return. They had no issues. Not only did our grandson instantly grasp the entire concept, our granddaughter did so as well, so it was a no brainer. We brought it home, wrapped it and made him wait until Christmas to play with it again. Is it overpriced, NO!, expensive, somewhat so, but it is worth it!
Edited by dtidmore - 4/16/14 at 6:39pm
post #7 of 20

People actually buy this? I'm stunned!

Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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post #8 of 20

When the prices come down a bit these will make a super birthday present. They are very cool. Just a tad overpriced right now.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Looks boring and overpriced for what it does.

 

You're always so positive.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 20

I wonder if Apple's real interest in this product was in the artificial intelligence aspect of it and not the 'play' aspect.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

You're always so positive.

I call it like I see it. I'd rather buy a drone.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoda View Post

paz, I could not disagree more. Its a real live video game that reacts to you. It learns! The word innovative is tossed around today with reckless abandon, when few things truly are. Anki drive however, deserves the title of innovative.

Ok cool then I should check it out. I'm right around the corner from Fifth Ave.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
Reply
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

When the prices come down a bit these will make a super birthday present. They are very cool. Just a tad overpriced right now.
Great, the Apple Tax extends to toys now. /s

It looks cool but it is expensive for me. I want to test it out though.
post #14 of 20

I consider it a concept and will be interesting to see what people do in the future with such a setup.  Use your imagination and create your own product to market.  To many criticize others efforts while sitting on their butts doing nothing.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Looks boring and overpriced for what it does.

Agreed, looks like something that'll cost you $50 a go in reality.

Much like Scalectrix, it'll get boring quick.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post


I call it like I see it. I'd rather buy a drone.

Careful with that drone kid.  You'll put yer eye out!

post #17 of 20
Yes, great tech demo but fairly boring game unfortunately having spent a half hour with it. Kids went back to Xbox, table tennis pretty quickly.

Having had a Parrot drone, those things also aren't worth the money. Break way too easily do not have precise control with iPad. $200 RC adapter improves things, better to start with a $30 Syma X1 which is super fun in a large indoor space or buy a more commercial drone designed for outdoor flight.
post #18 of 20

Those making negative comments on this product obviously have no first hand experience.  Not only that, but they must not have a clue as to who Andreessen Horowitz are (look it up if you don't know).  To be selected by them during 1st round of VC investments is a very high endorsement of Anki's business plan, their product, and their future.  

 

No video does justice to this product or the fun and enjoyment it brings on the 1st, the 50th or the 100th time you play.  You just have to experience it first hand.  

 

 

post #19 of 20
I played for a half hour with some younger cousins at a store. I thought it was cool but they lost interest after 15 minutes and even though I am an RC nerd (cars, helis, quads), I also had trouble getting into it. I think this would be much better if it was closer to RC steering than slot car lane switching.

I'd compare this to Sphero. Cool tech demo, not quite ready to compete with all the other entertainment options out there for the price.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbuffneff View Post

I played for a half hour with some younger cousins at a store. I thought it was cool but they lost interest after 15 minutes and even though I am an RC nerd (cars, helis, quads), I also had trouble getting into it. I think this would be much better if it was closer to RC steering than slot car lane switching.

I'd compare this to Sphero. Cool tech demo, not quite ready to compete with all the other entertainment options out there for the price.

I agree. Slot car racing has never held much interest for me and it seems that because of the speed of these little cars, the person driving is barely controlling the car anyway. It's mostly controlled by the software.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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