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Star Wars BB-8 Toy Can Now ‘Watch’ Movie With You

April 5, 2016, 10:31 AM UTC
Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At CES 2016
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 04: An attendee shoots images of Sphero's BB-8 technical prototype during a press event for CES 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sphero partnered with Lucasfilm to build the USD 150, app-enabled toy from the droid character in the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." It can be controlled using Bluetooth by a smartphone or a Force Band that resembles a digital watch and features gesture-based technology enabling users to control it with Jedi-like movements. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs from January 6-9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Those of you who bought the hit Star Wars BB-8 droid toy, based on the remote-controlled Sphero orb, will get a new experience if you watch The Force Awakens together.

The smartphone app that controls the toy received an update on Tuesday that introduces a feature called Watch With Me.

The update was timed to coincide with the home video release of The Force Awakens, the Star Wars film that introduced BB-8 as the lovable companion droid for heroine Rey.

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When the film is playing in its vicinity, BB-8 will now listen for cues in the audio that trigger responses — according to the Wall Street Journal, the appearance of Han Solo and Chewbacca elicits wild excitement, villain Kylo Ren makes BB-8 cower, and the droid proudly burbles in reaction to its own performance.

In January, Sphero also unveiled a wristband that makes it possible to control the rolling toy with gestures.

There’s a lot of interesting tech in the BB-8 toy that could manifest in more serious applications in the future. However, the update shows how features can gradually appear in the product itself.

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Whether it be a hit toy or a hit album, new digital models make it possible to take what would once have been sold as a finished product and make it an ongoing work-in-progress.