A Seattle firm, Play Impossible, has signed an exclusivity deal putting its iOS- and tvOS-connected Gameball only in North American Apple stores as well as Apple’s website.
The Gameball is an inflatable motion-tracking product, aimed at people 9 or older, that connects to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV by way of Bluetooth. A variety of games are available through an associated app, such as “Splash,” in which people have to catch the ball softly as it’s tossed in order to avoid “popping” it.
Some other games include takes on Hot Potato and Keep Away, as well as more educational ones like “Sports Lab” and “Skyscraper,” which put a focus on physics. Teachers can use the iOS app’s export function to bring data into spreadsheet apps.
To encourage play the Gameball further translates airtime and daily missions into experience points, which gradually boost a player’s level and unlock achievements. Its internal battery lasts only two hours, but can be recharged in as little as 20 seconds using a bundled charger.
Until today the Gameball was available through Amazon and Target. While Play Impossible is losing that reach, it will be putting the product in front of a lucrative demographic, and the company noted that Apple store visitors will be able to try the Gameball in person to get a sense for how it works.
On Apple’s website, the Gameball is on sale for $99.95 in purple or green.