WWDC: Anki’s AI cars show off App Store strength

Joel Mathis
11 June, 2013
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Lots of companies dream of giving their products a high-profile debut. Anki, a robotics company that uses iOS as both the controller and “brains” of a new race-car game, got to share the Worldwide Developers Conference stage with Apple.

Why take the time out of a keynote jammed with OS and hardware announcements to spotlight one app maker? To illustrate the continuing heft and draw of Apple’s now 5-year-old App Store. More than 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the store, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted during his keynote. There are are 900,000 apps available, with 375,000 of those designed specifically for the iPad.

“That still compares to just a few hundred (apps) for those other guys,” he said, referring to rivals like the Android operating system.All those downloads are creating wealth. Cook said the app store had 570 million accounts: “More accounts with credit cards than any other store on the Internet that we’re aware of.”

As a result, Apple has paid US$10 billion during the life of the store – US$5 billion in the last year “That’s three times more than all other platforms combined,” Cook said.

As for Anki, CEO Boris Sofman showed off a new game, Anki Drive, in which real iPhone-controlled cars raced around a mat on the floor – a 21st century twist on those old race tracks from rec room basements. Four cars competed for position, and one “fired” weapons at the other to clear the track of rivals.

A screen shot of the iPhone’s remote view of the Anki Drive race track.

“This is a video game in the real world,” Sofman said. “We’re taking the things you love about video games and putting them into the real world where you can physically touch them”That’s the sort of developer innovation keeping the iOS platform ahead of challengers like Android. “I think these guys are going to be super-successful,” Cook said of Anki, which is made up of robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.Sofman said the full Anki Drive game would be available in “the fall” – our southern spring. The app is available now to give users a preview of the cars, the game, “and the technology that makes it real.”



Check out the following links for more WWDC news, analysis and discussion:

iOS 7
Help: FAQ: everything you need to know about iOS 7
Blogs: 27 new iOS 7 features Apple didn’t talk about
News: Apple unveils iOS 7
Blogs: iOS 7: how its latest features stack up to Android
Blogs: Siri in iOS 7: Apple still playing catch up with Google, but moving aggressively
News: Siri gets smarter in iOS 7, ditches Google for search
Blogs: What Apple’s new AirDrop data sharing says about NFC
News: Apple’s law enforcement critics ‘appreciative’ of new activation lock

OS X Mavericks
Help: FAQ: everything you need to know about OS X Mavericks
News: Apple previews OS X ‘Mavericks’
News: iBooks to come to the Mac
News: Safari gets energy-efficient update in Mavericks

MacBook Air
Features: Lab tested: Haswell MacBook Air benefits from faster graphics, flash storage
News: New MacBook Airs get better battery life & graphics performance
News: Apple’s Mac move could spur PCIe flash flurry in notebooks, desktops
News: Intel’s new Haswell chips may be hot, but not in a good way

Mac Pro
News: The wait is nearly over: Apple unveils new Mac Pro
Features: The new Mac Pro: what you need to know
Help: Will your creative software run on the Mac Pro 2013?

Blogs: iOS 7, Mavericks and more: developers react to WWDC announcements
Blogs: Apple’s events move on, and so does the company
Blogs: Meet the new Apple, same as the old Apple
News: The Apple Design Award winners
News: Apple’s big-screen TV was a no-show at WWDC, but analysts say it’s coming soon
News: Anki’s AI cars show off App Store strength

News: Apple sees chance to compete with Office on the web
News: iWork for iCloud highlights productivity suite update

iTunes Radio
News: Apple gets into the stream of things with iTunes Radio



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