Not much has changed in the world of RC cars in the last few years. But now you’ll be able to control your vehicle with the wave of your arm instead of the traditional controllers we’ve been using for decades. Virginia-based Ultigesture just launched a Kickstarter campaign for its smart toy cars that can be intuitively controlled by gestures from the wristband-wearing driver. With a few simple movements the car will drive in all directions, speed up, slow down and stop. The driver has a much more natural and connected driving experience and you don’t have to lug around a large controller.
The toy car connects with a low-powered Bluetooth signal to the slick-looking wristband. When you move your forearm up, the car goes forward; forearm down makes the car go backward. A slight clockwise turn makes the car go right, and counterclockwise makes it turn left.
The car can drive at speeds up to 13 miles per hour, and it weighs just 17 ounces. It also features an impact-resistant ABS body, front and rear shock absorbers and the battery lasts for about 30 minutes of drive time.
Should the driver want to, they can simply control the car by tilting their smartphone in different directions, using an Android or iOS app.
The wristband incorporates “an ARM Cortex M4F processor, along with an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. This combo is able to recognize a series of arm gestures, which are relayed to the car as commands. Its range is a claimed 20 meters (22 yds).”
There are plenty of remote-controlled toy cars which are fun to play, but we have discovered that wearing the wristband and using gestures makes for a much more realistic racing experience. The user experience is really improved by literally putting your body — or at least your arm — into the driving. It is very exciting to feel like you are connected to this small toy car as it goes racing down the street.
–Gang Zhou, CEO of Ultigesture
With 57 days left in its campaign on Kickstarter, Ultigesture still has a long ways to go to reach its goal of $30,000. An $89 pledge for early birds will get you your own gesture controlled smart car. If the company gets funded, you can expect the car to hit shelves in September of this year.
The Ultigesture gesture-controlled smart toy racer includes:
- Unique, 13-inch long, 500g (17 ounces) racing car in black or gold (will be six colors)
- Car can drive at speeds up to 13mph
- Sturdy casing will withstand bumps and falls
- Battery with 30 minutes of play time, 2-3 hours charge time
- Wristband in two colors (black & white)
- Optional Android or iOS app uses tilt motion to control the car