It would be an understatement to say that Pokémon Go has been a hit gaming app. The app has been around for almost two months and a mere search on the Google Play store or the iOS App Store would reveal hundreds of other apps the game has given rise to, including guides, how-tos, secret hacks and helpful tips for the starters and the seasoned alike. However, apps aren't the only way for other people to get into the monster-catching business. Back in July, a 3D printing community creation hosting site named My Mini Factory created a 3D printed iPhone case which could help Pokémon GO players perfect their aim while throwing balls at Pokémon, and now a tech firm named GamerReality LLC has come up with a 'Trainer Ball' which is a real life tennis-ball shaped device and which syncs with Pokémon GO to let players catch new Pokémon simply by throwing it.
Even though fitted with a lot of circuitry inside, these Trainer Balls aren't as nimble as your go-to 4G cameras nor are they as durable as real tennis balls. Coated with a safe rubberized foam material, a Trainer Ball can be thrown around, even on hard surfaces, and sensors like an accelerometer and motion sensors an two-way Bluetooth detection lets your phone know its location based on its distance from the phone's camera. What's more, it can also be used as a handheld gestured remote for the game. All you need to do is hold your phone in one hand and throw the ball from the other just so the ball lands exactly where a Pokémon creature you're trying to catch is located. If you're wondering how to use the ball in hilly areas or near water bodies where the ball may be lost forever, the 'gesture remote' feature will let you move your arm like you're throwing the ball without releasing it and the sensors will do the rest. To make the Trainer Ball more useful, its makers have also built in a power bank to let you charge any phone wherever you are. So if you're tired of playing Pokémon GO and need a long break, the ball will still be handy.
The Trainer Ball is displayed on Kickstarter and its makers are targeting $25,000 until the end of next month before starting production. The project has so far garnered $2,539 from 35 backers and it will be interesting to see if the target will be met within existing timelines. If it is, then the first deliveries will begin in October and those pledging $55 or more will get theirs by February of next year. Reportedly, Niantic and Nintendo will soon launch the Pokémon GO Plus, a wrist-worn wearable which will let you play the game without pulling out your smartphone and if it turns out to be user-friendly and long-lasting, third party accessories like the Trainer Ball might find it hard to penetrate the market in the long run.