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Intelligent Robotics Coming to Your iPhone

Startup works with Apple on racing game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bay Area tech company Anki has new offices overlooking San Francisco. NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman catches up with the company that stole the show at a recent Apple conference.

    There's something about controlling a racing robot with a smartphone in your hand that makes you forget everything else around you.

    Isn't that what games are supposed to do?

    With Anki's new "Drive," you pretty much zone everything else out, as you race your car around the track, shooting your competition, which today includes a robotic car, powered by artificial intelligence.

    Such is the atmosphere around Anki's new offices overlooking San Francisco. Apple fans already know Anki as the company that stole the show during June's Developer Conference keynote, racing cars around a track before going into stealth mode.

    They've emerged, with a game due in Apple stores Oct. 23. It will sell for $199 and comes in a big black box, complete with a track and two cars (others sold separately).

    While the game is easy to play, it's a far cry from the Hot Wheels we grew up with, and it merely hints at a future where A.I., and robotics, play a bigger role in what we can do with our iPhones and iPads.

    Apple is even holding training days at some of its stores to let people try the Anki game.

    It's not cheap, but you get the feeling that it's an investment in the future: robotics, brought to us in the form of a game.

    I, for one, welcome our new robotic artificially intelligent overlords.

    Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman (and Instagram -- see below)

     

     

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