Sphero’s BB-8 can be your screening buddy for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

A “Watch With Me” mode allows the droid to react in sync with the film.

Sphero’s BB-8 droid is learning a new trick in time for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray release. Users can now set up the toy hover-droid to react in sync with the film, whistling and whirring at all the appropriate moments.

This does take some dedication, however. As Gizmodo notes, users will want to keep their smartphones plugged in, because the BB-8 companion app must run throughout the movie and listen for audio cues via the phone’s microphone. (The app also chimes in with its own fun facts and movie details as you watch.)

BB-8 should also be plugged in if you’re planning to sit through the film’s entire two hour and 15 minute runtime, as the droid only runs for about an hour on a charge. Once everything’s set up, the “Watch With Me” option should appear in the main menu of BB-8’s iOS and Android app.

Sphero’s BB-8 is still a pricey toy, at $130, but that’s down from the original $150 price tag.

Why this matters: We’ve seen a fair share of audio-synced companion apps before, including ones from Disney, but tying these features to Sphero’s wildly popular toy is a clever extension of that idea. You’re probably not going to buy a BB-8 for this, but chances are you’re buying a copy of The Force Awakens if you dropped $150 on the droid already, so why not put the two together for your next screening?

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Jared Newman

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