From Toys to Technologies: WowWee Expands and Diversifies Product Line in 2009|
Advancements include micro projectors for iPods®, a transforming spy-cam, and robots that beatbox
HONG KONG – January 6, 2009 – WowWee, an Optimal Group company (NASDAQ:OPMR), announced its newest line of innovations scheduled for release in 2009, in advance of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 8-11. Consumers can expect to see items from four lines, including WowWee Technologies™, which now includes a new category of iPod® compatible multimedia pico projectors powered by Texas Instruments’ DLP® Technology. The other key lines, focusing on cutting-edge entertainment robotics, plush, and flight, are WowWee Robotics™, WowWee Alive™, and WowWee FlyTech™. Highlights include:
Taking projection out of boardrooms and movie theaters and into the palm of your hand is WowWee’s Cinemin™ suite of ultra-portable multimedia micro projectors, powered by Texas Instruments’ DLP Technology for ultra clear picture quality. Utilizing the same technology commonly found in high-definition TVs, classroom projectors and large-scale cinema houses, the Cinemin projectors have been designed to work with popular mobile devices, such as the Apple® iPod and iPhone®. With WowWee’s Cinemin™ suite of projectors, a café becomes a boardroom, a camping tent becomes a theater, and Grandma’s curtains become a life-size digital picture frame. The line features three products: The Cinemin Swivel™ pico projector, an affordable lightweight micro projector that is roughly the size of a candy bar and features an impressive 3-hour battery life for movie watching, full volume control, and a unique adjustable 90-degree hinge for ceiling projection. The Cinemin Stick™ pico projector is a compact micro projector with internal memory and an expandable SD card memory slot that puts your favorite web videos, digicam snapshots, ambient animations, and more on display. The Cinemin Station™ pico projector is an alarm clock-sized convenient media center and iPod docking station for big pictures with big audio.
The Spyball™ spy-cam is a remote controlled, Wi-Fi enabled, transforming robotic ball that introduces an element of play to telepresence functionality. Affordable, easy-to-use, and rechargeable, the Spyball spy-cam captures video and still images and is equipped with sleek wheels for fast, smooth mobility and 360-degree turns. Transforming from ball to camera and back again, the Spyball spy-cam moves with stealth and in disguise – perfect for spying on siblings or peeking into the kitchen. There is no need to access the Internet to see what the Spyball spycam sees – users can make an Ad hoc connection via any Wi-Fi-enabled device including a PC, laptop, video game console or even a cell phone. The included USB cable allows users to configure a simple home network setup process that will allow the Spyball spycam to be controlled from any remote location via the Internet.
WowWee Technologies also features Rovio™ a Wi-Fi enabled home and office mobile webcam which has been selected as an Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award honoree by the Consumer Electronic Association in the Personal Electronics product category (Innovations Showcase Booth #72062). The Rovio mobile webcam can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world using a web-enabled device including a PC, Mac, cell phone or smart phone, PDA or even a video game console, allowing you to view and interact with its environment through streaming video and audio. The device features TrueTrack™ Navigation System, a smart navigation and positioning system that works like a micro-GPS system, delivering tracking capabilities that have never before been available to the robotic mass market.
The next generation of WowWee’s award-winning Robotics line includes two playful companions – the Joebot™ and Roborover™ robots. The Joebot robot is a content-packed, walking, talking interactive buddy with a sense of humor and rhythm. Featuring voice command control, the Joebot robot is capable of responding to key phrases via sound sensors; he can also be controlled by his responsive hands or by the Robosapien™ robot’s remote controller. The Joebot robot is not your average Joe – in fact, he can beatbox and dance – just tap out a beat and he will repeat it perfectly while grooving along. His movements are fast and fluid, and he is able to avoid obstacles via infrared sensors or detect if he falls over with tilt sensors. Various modes include Wandering, Patrol, Talk, Guard and Battle Modes. In Battle Mode, for example, he will wander freely while tracking and blasting objects with his hand LEDs; you can even challenge him to a “duel” using any TV (IR) remote controller.
The Roborover robot is a talking, tread-based, roving explorer with an inquisitive personality that grows to become more confident as users navigate and play with him. The Roborover robot is operated via remote-control and features poseable arms, head and waist. This shy little explorer features spoken content, various driving-based games, infrared sensors for obstacle avoidance, and tilt sensors allowing him to perceive when he has fallen over. The Roborover robot also features a “Follow Me” homing function that will trigger this exploratory companion to search for his user – even in the dark! Sensor-based LED headlights will automatically turn on in the dark to illuminate his path.
The critically acclaimed WowWee Alive™ Cubs, introduced in 2008, capture the technology of Hollywood-style animatronics in the form of huggable, life-like plush animal babies. New for 2009 are four new cuddly varieties that come “alive” with love and attention – the WowWee Alive Seal Pup, Husky Puppy, Koala Joey, and Leopard Cub. Each features animated facial and vocal expressions triggered by users' touch and comes with adoption papers and a family portrait. Other products included in the WowWee Alive line are adorable, 8-inch WowWee Alive™ Minis, complete with a feeding bottle the cubs can sense. These WowWee Alive Minis feature touch and tilt sensors triggering soft endearing sounds from snoring to gurgling that indicate the cubs’ various moods.
WowWee has also unveiled a new line of pajama pals, the WowWee Alive™ Sleeping Cuties™ pets. These adorable sleepy pets are perfect to cuddle up with for a nap. Featuring lifelike fur, a poseable head, and their very own blankets, the WowWee Alive Sleeping Cuties pets make gentle slumbering sounds, have animated eyes, and curl up into a cozy, napping position when you pet them. The WowWee Alive Sleeping Cuties pets come in four varieties: Labradoodle Puppy, Beagle Puppy, Cinnamon Persian Kitten, and White Persian Kitten.
Taking to the skies in 2009 is the WowWee FlyTech Lightstar™ flyer; its propulsion-based design and built-in LED lights create a cool glow and halo-effect when flying. The FlyTech Lightstar flyer creates mesmerizing light patterns in the air that may have the neighbors calling in UFO sightings! Made from flexible, lightweight materials, the crash resistant FlyTech Lightstar flyer comes with an easy-to-use remote, controlling the flyer’s altitude. The scroll-wheel remote controller enables three FlyTech Lightstar flyers to be flown at once and a quick 10-minute charge allows up to four minutes of flight.
Soon to be spotted zipping around households is the WowWee FlyTech™ Hoverpod™ racer. Featuring a two-channel remote control and a tail rudder for directional movement, the FlyTech Hoverpod racer can jet across most smooth surfaces and be controlled to maneuver around obstacles. Made from durable, lightweight materials, the racer is designed to be crash resistant. The dual-band infrared control allows for two FlyTech Hoverpod racers to compete at once – and you can even build an obstacle course to up the ante! A simple 10-minute charge will last for up to five minutes play.
WowWee’s 2009 product line is being shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in the Kids@Play TechZone, Booth #72205, Sands Expo & Convention Center.
WowWee's recently established Think Wow Toys™ division will remain focused on producing third-party licensed characters, plush toys and novelty items.
Information about WowWee’s diverse product portfolio – including the latest product announcements for 2009 – is featured on www.wowwee.com.
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WowWee, an Optimal Group company, is a leading designer, developer, marketer and distributor of innovative hi-tech consumer robotic and entertainment products. The WowWee group of companies maintains operations in Hong Kong, Carlsbad, California; Brussels, Belgium; and Montreal, Quebec.
For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.wowwee.com.