Review: Three iOS-app-controlled toys

By Lauren Crabbe, Macworld |  Consumerization of IT, IOS, toys

Bottom line: The Tankbot was easy to control once the I got a handle on the functions of the joysticks, but for me, the most enjoyable aspect of this toy was just letting it roam off on its own.

Dexim AppSpeed Monster Truck

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! That's right, folks. You can have your own miniature monster-truck show with Dexim's $70, iOS-controlled AppSpeed Monster Truck ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ). Like the Tankbot, the Monster Truck is controlled using a hardware transmitter, but this one uses a radio-frequency (RF) signal and plugs into your iOS device's 30-pin dock-connector port; it can be used up to 15 meters away from the Truck. You download the free DFSpeed iOS app to control the truck; the app lets you use either Multi-Touch control or your iOS device's accelerometer. In addition to these two control options, Dexim's app also has a Zig-Zag and Spin setting that automatically sends the Monster Truck driving around the room, disregarding any and all objects that are unfortunate enough to be in its path. In an odd twist--and I could not make this up--if you put the truck in Programme mode, the vehicle will do a dance to a cover of Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E."

The AppSpeed Monster Truck's controls are very easy to use, and the app's navigation is simple and intuitive. During my testing, the only thing that was lacking in the truck was the monster force implied by the look of the toy. I wanted to be able to crush Hot Wheels cars and drive the AppSpeed Monster Truck over the puny obstacles on my desk, leaving only miniature destruction behind. Unfortunately, even at speed level 15, the highest speed setting, the monster truck was unable to drive over even a line of pens. On the other hand, when driving on the ground, this little truck can go fast enough to give your housepet a workout.

The AppSpeed Monster Truck charges using either a USB cable or a portable, three-AAA-battery charger. The vehicle takes only 15 minutes to charge, although that charge gives you only five to ten minutes of run time, depending on how fast and extreme your driving is. The vehicle is a little over six inches long and three inches wide.

Bottom line: The AppSpeed Monster Truck is fast and easy to control but lacks the ability to climb over objects, monster-truck-style.

Sphero


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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