anki drive ai raceing game for ios

The WWDC put Anki Drive on my gadget list

I have purposely avoided the usual hype of the never ended question “will they, wont they” this year. Even as an avid Apple fan boy, I decided I would wait until the hype was over and some real products, rather than speculation had been reveled. That was until I got home, switched on my Apple TV to watch some mindless post work drivel. Unfortunately, I had forgotten Apple had promised to broadcast the WWDC13 keynote through the little black box.

So I convinced my wife that I would just watch a little. I very quickly got sucked in to the hype. One thing Apple do very, very well is presenting products to fill needs that you might not have previously realised existed. It’s a magical thing to behold. Tim Cook is good, but he doesn’t quite present to the same fanatical like fan base of Mac heads as Jobs did. That being said, the keynote was slick, if underwhelming in terms of product releases.

However, I did spot one little gem that I’ve not shut up about today. Anki, one of the external entities brought on by Apple to show the amazing periphery technologies that people are pluggin in to get the most out of iOS. Anki, and more particularly Anki Drive, managed to capture my imagination. Anki is an artificial intelligence startup that has now raised $50 million in funding and used the WWDC to showcase the “first manifestation” of it’s technology, Anki Drive.

This $200 USD toy-app hybrid represents the physicalisation of the app economy. It’s not the first, there have been plenty of RC cars and flying drone to link in to the iOS platform. But what Anki does differently is it allows users to take control of their own car while Anki controls other physical cars for you to compete with. All handled and from the users handset. The best bit? You can even shoot the other cars off of the road in a Mario Kart style adventure.

The interesting side to Anki is their ability to think big. They are adamant they are an AI company first. They have big plans for their technology.

It may not save the world. It may not be the ground breaking iPhone or iPad release. It probably has a quickly exhausted play-life span. But I really, really want one.