Darkside Ollie – When Good Machines Go Bad

Ollie is a smartphone connected toy that first appeared in 2014. For a gadget, it had a lot of personality, doing skateboard-like tricks and stunts which were sent to the device through an app.

The 2015 Ollie however has developed a bit of an attitude.

The Darkside Ollie, exhibits deliberate mischievous behaviour, right from the opening naming process through to autonomous behaviour during play.

You can control it, but it also has it’s own point of view, giving us a glimpse of the future when the machines might not do as they are told.

Darkside is the first toy in the Sphero family designed with a point of view, now brought to life through the app experience and physical toy animations. Among other moments, the user becomes acquainted with these new behaviours through Darkside’s defiant retorts beginning with the initial “naming” process and again through mischievous autonomous behaviour during play. This introduces a new focus on injecting personality into connected toys.

“The new Darkside experience we’ve designed is our first run at establishing a deeper connection between user and robot,” said Rob Maigret, CCO. “We’ve reached a point in technology where robots should be more than plastic, metals, and energy that we control, drive or manipulate. They can learn. They should have a point of view. They should play back with us. We are giving our customers a glimpse into the future.”

To celebrate the launch of Darkside, Sphero has unleashed their first-ever Instagram exclusive video series, The Chronicles of Darkside. This six-part series, available only on Sphero’s Instagram account, is a glimpse into Darkside’s origins and feud with Ollie.

“Instagram, by nature, lends itself to a unique visual storytelling experience, perfect for releasing the Darkside narrative to the world,” said Ross Ingram, Community Manager. “With this series, we’re combining a traditional product launch with unconventional media to target consumers who desire short, digestible content.”

Darkside, along with the Sphero 2.0 and Ollie, will be available at Noel Leeming, JB Hi-Fi and Mighty Ape.

The updated Ollie app is currently available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and Android.