Recently, I was invited down to London to the launch event of a brand new product from Bandai. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but I’m not one to leave you guys clueless to the latest in toy fun so I present to you the ultimate canine companion for your iPhone – Bandai’s TechPet!
Winner of the best ‘Innovative Toy’ award at this year’s Tokyo Toy Fair, the TechPet (Originally dubbed the ‘SmartPet’ in Japan) is an animatronic puppy accessory for your iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, as well as the 4th Gen iPod Touch. Combining the best aspects of the Aibo (Remember those, kids?), Tamagotchi (Remember those, adults?) and app connectivity, the TechPet is more to your iPhone or iPod than just another kooky speaker peripheral.
The TechPet’s interactivity stems from an iOS app downloaded to your iDevice of choice and plugged into the TechPet. From then on, your device acts as the TechPet’s face and allows you and the puppy to interact through use of voice commands, Facetime camera and touch screen. The TechPet also grows and adapts as you spend more time with it and will also reward you for doing so; unlocking new tricks, games, items and looks to customise your experience. TechPets can also interact with each other via Bluetooth.
While TechPets act as interactive pals, they also keep all of the functionality of your device of choice, allowing your iPhone to make and receive calls, messages and works as a loudspeaker to play music. The TechPet app also allows you to interact with your ‘Pet on the move when you disconnect your device, playing up the Tamagotchi aspect of gameplay.
Bandai’s TechPet was launched Wednesday 19th September and is available through Toys R Us, John Lewis, Argos, Amazon, The Entertainer with an RRP of £59.99 in White. Unfortunately, I don’t know if they will be producing them in Black soon or as different animals but we can hope!
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