Today, Seattle-based company Play Impossible's Gameball, a smart ball that encourages both physical activity and creative problem solving, went on sale exclusively at Apple after previously being available on Amazon and at Target.
If you've never heard of the Gameball, it's essentially a small, soccer-like ball that contains an accelerator, barometer, microcontroller, ultracapacitor, and other super cool tech. As you play with it, it sends data via Bluetooth to its accompanying iPhone and iPad app in real time. There are also modes that guide you through specific activities, allowing you and your friends to compete in games like Splash (a water balloon toss game) and Jostle (a version of keep-away where you try to keep the ball still while someone else attempts to move it). What's more, Gameball's goal-oriented play goes beyond individual games: the more you play with the it, the more XP you receive, which allows you to level up and earn achievements. There are even "daily missions" that you can complete, motivating you get up and move regularly.
According to a profile of Play Impossible on GeekWire, the startup has received an additional $1.25 million from investors as of this morning, and has also inked a partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum shared his enthusiasm for the Gameball in a statement:
Braxton Miller, Houston Texans wide receiver and new ambassador for Play Impossible, touted the benefits of Gameball's physical activity and technology combo as well.
However, Gameball's potential doesn't stop at play. GeekWire's report also states that teachers at middle and high schools are interested in using the ball and its accompanying data as a way to introduce algebra and physics concepts to students in the classroom.
So, itching to get out and play with a Gameball of your own yet? Each ball is priced at $99.95 comes with two AA alkaline batteries, a quick start guide, and a Rapid Charger (which, by the way, readies your ball for an hour of play in a mere 20 seconds). You can grab it up on Apple's website by tapping the link below.
Would you use the Play Impossible Gameball, or are you just fine with your tried and true, non-smart soccer or volleyball? Share in the comments below!
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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.