Sharky the Beaver review: AR gaming with a twist

Shark the beaver

About 15 years ago one of the biggest game crazes to hit the technological world took over the minds of young teens. The Tamagotchi was, literally, a handheld pet. It could eat, sleep, and — much to the dismay of parents — die. For the last few years, gamers, tech enthusiasts and digital masterminds have tried to replicate the simplicity and success of the Tamagotchi. Sharky the Beaver, an app that places a virtual beaver on top of Sphero, is just another failed attempt at bringing a virtual pet to life.

Shark the beaver

Sharky the Beaver comes from Sphero, a quirky little robotic ball that can be controlled with just a touch and a tilt of your smartphone. Using your phone, you can watch as the screen duplicates the surroundings of your living room and Sharky takes a walk around your house. In reality, the robotic ball zooms across the floor controlled by your phone through Bluetooth. You can even cross over to the virtual world by tossing a cupcake into Sharky’s mouth. The app is the first to bring a three-dimensional character to life. The technology is groundbreaking and the concept is simple. It should be a recipe for success but it falls short because you’re left asking, “What exactly is the point?”

It’s an excellent concept

Stripped of all the marketing clichés, random adversities and new-technology selling point, Sharky the Beaver is plain, simple and well, boring. Despite this, there is no doubt that the technology is fascinating because it shows that the world of augmented reality is expanding.

As one reader said, “If they take this a little farther [sic] by adding Pokemon and allow me to battle other Spheros I’d buy one in an instant.”  A tall order, but certainly not impossible. So, Sphero, the ball is now in your court.

Download Sharky the Beaver for iOS



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