We’ve covered Boulder startup Orbotix since the beginning. We began covering them at our previous Android website when we saw the Sphero ball at a Show Stoppers event during CES 2011. We also covered their Techstars pivot, which came about when working with their mentor Brad Feld, and we covered their biggest fan, President Barack Obama.
Orbotix is the startup behind the Sphero ball. Sphero is a smartphone controlled ball. The concept in itself can bring tons of fun, maneuvering the ball throughout the house, teasing the dog and cat can be hours of fun. However, Sphero isn’t just about the ball. They’ve built some great interactive apps (games) like golf. The control the user has with their Android phone or iPhone, over the ball, is world’s apart from other smartphone controlled toys.
While the company launched in 2011 after going through the TechStars program in Boulder, Chief Executive Paul Berberian feels like this distribution deal with Target is their big consumer launch.
“The name of the game in consumer electronics and gaming is getting in front of customers,” Berberian said to the Boulder County Business Report. “We feel like we’ve been out there for a long time telling our story, but most people have never seen a Sphero. This is essentially our launch.”
The Sphero ball has limited distribution in some Apple stores as well as some Brookstone stores but of course Target means they’ll reach the masses. It’s also a great time to get into a retail stores shelves as Americans prepare for the busy holiday shopping season.
Target already has a good selection of interactive smartphone accessories. Their toy section is filled with iPhone and iPad games that have a physical component like fishing, and even an Angry Birds game where you move the bird across the screen. Target’s smartphone accessories section, located within their electronics department, stocks the iCade mini arcade machine accessory as well as some of the “cooler” music accessories.
Sphero will be stocked among the smartphone app accessories section and available online at Target.com as well.