Throwable, robotic toy Hackaball steals limelight at CES 2016

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

January 7th 2016 at 12:48PM
UPDATED January 8th 2016 at 12:36PM
Throwable, robotic toy Hackaball steals limelight at CES 2016

Having emerged from Kickstarter last year, Hackaball has already been called the 'best invention of 2015' for allowing kids to code their own active play games.

The Las Vegas consumer electronics show is often citied as the launching ground to some of the most innovative products for the year ahead.

And this year is no different as it falls on a throwable, programmable robotic toy to steal the limelight at the global gadget event.

Having emerged from the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter last year and already billed by TIME Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2015, Hackaball teaches kids the basics of coding while aiming to get them active and physical.

By combining digital indoor play with traditional outdoor games, the Hackaball can be coded by youngsters before being thrown about in active play.

This is the latest invention to tap into the $2.8 billion connected toy market, which Juniper Research predicts will grow to $7.4 billion by 2020.

Having hit $240,000 on Kickstarter last year, Hackaball is now in production and will ship in March this year.

“Hackaball represents a whole new attitude to computers and learning,” said Hackaball CEO Seb Potter.

“It’s something to be chucked around that isn’t fragile, and where you can learn through creative play and imagination, not instruction. Ultimately, we are finding new ways to turn technology into something you do together, not alone.”

The size of a softball, Hackaball has a rubber exterior and connects to an app for the iPad, iPhone or Mac computer, allowing kids to customise the ball’s sensors, lights and noises so they can make their own games.

It also comes with pre-designed games to help kids get started.

Additional accessories are planned for 2016, which will allow the technology of Hackaball to be placed in other toys and devices.

Hackaball has sold out of its initial 3,000 toys made and another 5,000 are due out n May 2016.