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Play Impossible Begins Selling Smart 'Gameball' Through Apple After Inking Exclusive Retail Deal

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Apr 12, 2001
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Seattle-based startup Play Impossible has inked a retail deal with Apple for its smart inflatable "Gameball" that encourages people to play both single player and multiplayer games through a connected iOS and tvOS app (via GeekWire). The Gameball connects to iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Apple TV through Bluetooth, and games emphasize hand-eye coordination, agility, and creative thinking, according to the company.


Games include "Splash," a virtual water balloon toss game where you have to keep the Gameball in the air longer by catching it as softly as possible since handling it roughly will result in a "popped" balloon. There's also "Jostle," a play on a game of keep away where you have to try to keep the Gameball as still as possible while friends attempt to make it move.

There are versions of Hot Potato and a volleyball-like "Rally," all aimed at ages 9 years and older. The device includes games related to STEM as well, encouraging younger players to grasp how physics plays into sports by keeping track of airtime, height, speed, or catch force in games like "Skyscraper" and "Sports Lab." Additionally, Gameball's session data can be exported from the iOS app to spreadsheet software for classroom activities.


Gameball records airtime as experience points every time you play a game, building into each user's own level system and achievements that are available to unlock. Experience can be gathered through playing the device's games or completing daily missions discoverable through the connected app.


In a profile shared today by GeekWire, the company confirmed that Gameball is now an exclusive to Apple Store locations across North America and on Apple.com, after previously being available at Target and Amazon. At Apple stores, Play Impossible CEO Brian Monnin explained that visitors will be able to go hands-on with the Gameball to better understand what it does:
"It's a place where people can come touch and play with the Gameball," said Play Impossible CEO Brian Monnin. "In a few seconds, you fall for it."
Gameball sells for $99.95 in Green and Purple on Apple.com. The device supports play sessions that last for up to 2 hours, and an included Rapid Charger refuels the Gameball in approximately 20 seconds.

Article Link: Play Impossible Begins Selling Smart 'Gameball' Through Apple After Inking Exclusive Retail Deal
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,159
15,116
Central U.S.
There are so many cool toys nowadays! Definitely going to buy something like this for my kids when they're older. I love it when science intersects with entertainment because it provides additional opportunities for educating children. Even things like large motorized reflector telescopes and nice microscopes are cheaper these days. My kids will be able to just look at a nebula by dialing it in with an iPad and the scope will point right at it. Then there are all of these robotic toys that you can actually program using simple languages. Not even to mention the wonder of an iPad compared to what I used as a kid (Oregon Trail on an old Mac, floppy disk educational software on a 486, CD-ROM encyclopedias on a Pentium box, dial-up on a Pentium II). What a time to be a child with so much information at their fingertips!
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,746
2,713
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Ever wonder if technology is going backwards? Why would you pay $100 for a ball that you have to charge up instead of just playing with a ball?

Would you pay $100 for a ball and app that invokes, excites, and continually encourages your overweight kid to play and play with and make new friends while improving their physical fitness?

Or would you like to spend countless hours and medical bills over the life of your child(ren) to the tune of $10s of thousands of dollars due to medical bills and mental illness such as depression? Yes I know depression can happen on a dime for ANYONE!
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,419
2,683
Buffalo, NY
All the games listed can be played with a ball that costs $1 and depends on the kids imagination.

Kids don't play games by themselves anymore. I remember as a kid, walking around the neighborhood, knocking on doors and getting kids together to play kick ball, baseball, soccer, football or street hockey. As soon as we got enough kids for 2 teams, we played for a few hours without any adult supervision, refereed ourselves, repeat the next day.

Kids today aren't allowed to be without adults around, so they can't go around collecting kids, refereeing games with themselves playing and they don't get this mentality of playing with others the same as the past. They need structure or something 'in control' to follow.
 
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mungo2k

macrumors member
Mar 11, 2011
79
66
Signing. The word is signing. We don't need a new word 'inking'.

The Rolling Stones were never 'inked' to Beggars Banquet.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,746
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Smart Balls. Whatever next. The world's gone mad.

Have a look in your ‘hood this week. Come back and reply how many kids aged 6-14 you’ve seen playing outside together in a sport or at the playground.

I’m honestly curious.

Technology in implementation ... may seem like a gimmick or strange yet ... knocking it off before it’s had its full chance, especially to keep kids healthy in a nation that still holds the largest obesity I’d say you’re pretty negative at anything that possibly could reduce that.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,580
14,371
In between a rock and a hard place
Would you pay $100 for a ball and app that invokes, excites, and continually encourages your overweight kid to play and play with and make new friends while improving their physical fitness?

Or would you like to spend countless hours and medical bills over the life of your child(ren) to the tune of $10s of thousands of dollars due to medical bills and mental illness such as depression? Yes I know depression can happen on a dime for ANYONE!
Bud, kids have been playing with toys and making friends since forever. A $100 ball and app are not a panacea. A $1 ball can engage a child equally as well.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,926
4,787
Replacing a real water balloon with a virtual water balloon takes all the fun out of it...

I guess if I wanted to build an ideal replacement for a "classic" water balloon, I'd have exactly this device, but fill it with water and make it squirt me if I'm not gentle enough with it. Minimize the mess going elsewhere, actually reusable, but keep the shocking consequences of messing up.
 
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RudySnow

Suspended
Aug 27, 2016
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Tyler, TX
I remember when people dreamed of flying cars, flights around the moon, cures for serious diseases, dryland farming to end famine, and other technologies that would just blow our minds.

In the interim, we have Gameball. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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NoNothing

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2003
449
492
This seems kind of silly. Kids don't need to make a ball to be electronic. All the games listed can be played with a ball that costs $1 and depends on the kids imagination.

"[...] and depends on the kids imagination."

And there you have it. If this gets kids to actually go outside and play... I can think of worse phone games.
 
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xyzzy

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2002
12
6
Inking is hardly a new word, in fact it is an old word and figure of speech that has been widely used

But it's a word choice that gives the impression that you're trying to emulate a breezy, breathless, 1920s newspaper columnist like Walter Winchell. Other than that, I suppose it's perfectly cromulent.
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,486
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Silicon Valley
"[...] and depends on the kids imagination."

And there you have it. If this gets kids to actually go outside and play... I can think of worse phone games.
Doesn't matter if the kid doesn't have a smartphone in the first place.
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
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Silicon Valley
Virtual water balloons. Analyzing statistics of game play. Talk about ruining a kids fun.
It's probably still fun. My only issue with this ball is it requires a smartphone. Kids don't need smartphones and shouldn't have them, but for those who have them, it's an improvement.
 
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