Last Monday, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, a five-year-old startup company called Anki delivered a keynote address about their new app Anki Drive. It is a racing game that pits real cars against players and each other with your iOS device serving as a controller. Although seemingly amusing and innocent at first, most of us would probably miss the bigger picture of such innovation: the company is bridging the gap between artificial intelligence (AI) and real life. As Anki’s Boris Sofman puts it,
“We’re passionate about AI and robotics, and we know these advanced technologies are more than just science fiction. We want to harness them, to interact with them, to be entertained by them, and use them to do things that have simply never been done before. We believe the time is right to bring AI out of robotics labs and research institutions and into life.”
According to the company’s official blog, Anki Drive is the first video game that actually runs in the real world. Each toy car is said to be equipped with sensors and intelligent software that makes thousands of decisions every second — similar to the algorithmic calculations a human being does while driving. Sofman adds,
“When we look at Anki Drive, we see the first steps of the future of robotics and artificial intelligence being realized. We see an entertainment experience transformed today, and we see countless possibilities in the future.”
Anki Drive will be available this Fall exclusively on iOS.Before its release, the app is available for download on the App Store for users wishing to better understand the technology behind the game. Everybody is also welcome to sign up for a spot on the game’s beta program.
About the company:
Based in San Francisco, Anki is dedicated to bringing artificial intelligence and robotics to our everyday lives. The company was founded in 2010 by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute graduates who sought to create new consumer experiences using technology that was once confined to robotics labs and research institutes. Its first product, Anki Drive, will be available in North America later this Fall. The company is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Two Sigma. Anki (pronounced AHN-key) means “to learn by heart.” To learn more about Anki, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to us on YouTube.