by Moxye Staff

Silas Adekunle, a Nigerian-British entrepreneur and the founder/CEO of Reach Robotics, has just signed an exclusive sales deal with Apple, and his robots, Mekamon, will now be exclusively sold in Apple stores in the UK and US. The deal represents a huge breakthrough for Reach, with Apple limiting its selection of pre-Christmas promotions each year to a handful of products and services that its executives are excited about.

They bill the MekaMon as “the world’s first real-life gaming robot” – it enables users to play with the crab-like robot via games on their phones and tablets, with both single-player and two-player battle games available.

The technology includes augmented reality functionality, bringing the robot’s immediate environment into the gaming experience. That is likely to prompt comparisons with Pokemon Go, but the MekaMon effectively moves this technology on a step, with a physical device added to the augmented reality-powered virtual gaming space. “Gone are the days of overlaying an image on a real world – augmented reality should look at the world you’re in and then adapt to it,” says Silas Adekunle, the chief executive officer of Reach

The deal is similar to ones Apple has struck in the past, as it has looked to promote hardware startups that make particularly compelling use of its own technologies.

Silas, speaking to TechCrunch, described how the move came about:

“I demoed to (Apple) at GDC. One of our investors set up a meeting and they loved it. At the time, I didn’t know they were going to announce ARKit. When I saw it, it made sense. It was the right direction.”

Players will be able to choose between playing in the real world, or in augmented reality, and, according to Inverse, the robots will be able to move and use any object in the room to block or hide from attackers.

Reach Robotics and BristolRoboticsLab

The robots are compatible with both iOS and Android, and can be personalized with both weapons and shields.

Priced at £299.95, the MekaMon will be a premium product compared to many offers in the gaming sector, though the cost is comparable to hardware platforms; Reach’s founders insist they’re committed to developing the robot as a platform in its own right, with users getting access to a broader range of games over time – several are already available and the company is working on further developments.




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