Yesterday Anki Drive was released for Android OS. The racing game, which launched on Apple's devices, finally will be available to Android users. The price of the an Anki starter kit is $150 in the U.S. and Canada and the expansion costs $50. With the starter kit, users are provided with two racing cars, a track mat, charging cases a charger, and a tire cleaner.
In the game, the players race against robotic cars and use their smartphones to navigate their own cars on the track. To play, you have to roll out a map on the floor and put two racing cars. Once placed on the track, the cars, which have artificial intelligence, will start racing. The cars start adopting to the track and thus improve their abilities and speed. You can use your phone to navigate your own car.
The game is created by experts at the Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley. Some of the investors in the projects are Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Two Sigma. The development of the technology has begun six years ago and until now the project has raised $105 million.
This is how the game works. In the mat, a code is embedded to tell the cars where to go. The cars are equipped with cameras with which they read the information provided in the code. The code is analyzed and used to help the cars place themselves correctly on the track. Moreover, each car has its own processor, Bluetooth low-energy radio and LED.
Some people believe that the release of the game for Android smartphones is a natural continuation of the exclusive release of the title for Apple's devices. The release for Android smartphones will increase the number of the players considerably. The game can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. For now, the game is compatible with Google Nexus 5, Samsung Note 3, 4, 10.1, Samsung S4, S5.
The reason why only these devices support the game at the moment is that to navigate the cars, you need to have Bluetooth low energy support on your device and not all of the Android smartphone devices have this feature.