Apple’s 2013 World Wide Developer Conference presentation started off with a product demo from a company called Anki. The demo was the typical product demo on the tech world’s largest stage, containing a couple of hiccups, but it went well overall. The product demoed on stage was called Anki Drive, a product that brings artificial intelligence to cars, and uses your iOS device to control them in battle.
- Fun and challenging at the same time
- Interactive for kids and adults
- Artificial Intelligence is wicked smart
- Mandatory training to add additional devices for control
In the Anki Drive kit you can expect to find a special race track, along with two cars. In addition to the cars, each of which has its own personality, you’ll also find a tool to keep the tires clean.
Setting up Anki is simple. Download the Anki Drive iOS app, and follow the prompts. The entire process takes about 10 minutes, including the required training you have to complete before you can take control of your car.
After training is complete, the competition is on. You can compete with up to three more cars; battling not in laps, but with weapons specialized for each car. You have an allotted amount of power for your car, used by your weapons. Draining this power down makes your car vulnerable to attack, giving a point to your opponent should they attack during this time.
You’re able to control your car entirely from your iPhone. Turning to either side of the special track requires you to tilt your device, while gas and weapons are limited to onscreen buttons.
What’s most appealing, and what makes Anki Drive so much fun, is that the Artificial Intelligence in the cars allow them to make real-time decisions about thwarting your attack and counter-attacking. You literally set the difficulty level, take control of your car and hope to survive. I have yet to even score a point on the most difficult setting.
Each car charges in a special housing in about 8-minutes. The car is then able to compete for around 20 minutes, depending on the intensity of the battle.
My biggest gripe about Anki Drive is when connecting a new iOS device to the game, you have to complete the training before you can use it. So if you have an iPhone you primarily use with Anki, and decide you want to try your iPad with larger controls instead, you’ll lose out on 10 minutes of battery power completing training you no longer need. With the app having been built for the iPhone specifically, I don’t imagine too many users will be eager to try it on an iPad, but the same concept applies when connecting any new device.
The Anki Drive starter kit retails at $199, with the two additional cars retailing at $69. You can find it in the Apple Store, or by visiting Anki.com.
* Review sample provided by Anki