The annual Toy Fair at the Olympia Exhibition centre is under way with a few cracking gadgets rising launching at the event. One of the most interesting toys was the AppCar/Appcopter iPhone peripheral that turns an iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control for a car or helicopter.
We had chance to have some hands on time with both the Appcopter and the Appcar, both can be controlled via the iPhone/iPod app using touch buttons for height and direction or for the more adventurous the iPhone’s built in accelerometer.
The Appcopter was surprisingly easy to fly; Apptoys have done their homework by opting for a high quality helicopter to pair with the actual AppCar device. The dongle/Receiver simply slots into the headphone jack on top of the iPhone.
The helicopter is robust and easy to fly (even for novice pilots like myself). The most surprising and pleasing aspect of both products is the price point – they will both be available from April for £49.99 each.
When quizzed about the potential impact this could have on the AR Drone, Pip Warters, Marketing Director of Main Sauce, said “this is a totally different product, it doesn’t have the two way feedback of the AR Drone. This is aimed at people aged 8 to 80 that want to fly or drive the toys around their living room with their iPhone, it’s a whole different market.” where as his colleague simply said “the AR Drone is for bankers in their penthouses, our products deliver simplified fun at a much lower price.”
Pip admitted the most recent firmware was only uploaded onto their iPhone that morning and that many more developments are on the way. By the time the helicopter and car bundles go on sale in April they expect to have overhauled the apps graphics, fine tune the accelerometer and possibly have new devices to control via there app, there was even suggestion of an Android version in the near future.
Take a look at the gallery and let us know what you think below.
Do you think this could compete in the AR Drones arena, even though it lacks some of the features?