Anki, blessed by Apple, takes Artificial Intelligence and robotics to consumers

“When Apple turns over part of its oh-so-important Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address to an unknown startup, you can be sure Tim Cook and Co. think they’re dealing with some very cool technology,” Daniel Terdiman reports for CNET.

“That was very much the case with Anki, which was handpicked for a coveted slot as the poster child for what unknown developers can do with iOS,” Terdiman reports. “During its time onstage, Anki showed off what at first appears to be a simple toy car racing game, but what in reality might be the most advanced intersection of consumer-grade artificial intelligence and robotics ever.”

Terdiman reports, “Thanks to its relationship with Apple and lead A-round investor (and board member) Mark Andreessen — Anki has $50 million in the bank with which to develop AnkiDrive and whatever its next products are. And with Apple’s blessing, it will sell its cars in Apple stores around the world and online, as well as on its own Web site. Are big things ahead for Anki? Andreessen thinks so. On his blog, the Andreessen Horowitz partner said that the company is ‘the best robotics startup I have ever seen.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, now that they’ve appeared during an Apple keynote, Microsoft Google will buy Bungie Anki in 3… 2…


  1. Google’s not buying Anki. Apple won’t let that happen. What they have going on is too cool and way ahead of the curve. Apple would buy them first.

  2. Several ideas came to my mind based on just the Anki demo.

    Imagine putting cameras in those cars that will send video to iPads/iPods/iPhones used as controllers… and then placing the cars in racetracks with 3D features like trees, hills, buildings, etc.

    Anybody remember slot-car racing? This could be a really immersive racing game with being able to drive your car from the driver’s POV instead of just watching from some external viewpoint… and without the control limitations of slot-cars.

    I could also see Disney using this for a Pixar Cars-themed game using replicas of the Cars characters.

    1. That was need to know and never should have been posted. (Just messing with you.) Are you sure that this wasn’t first used on the Cruise Missiles to avoid the buildings and incoming fire?

  3. I used to love slot cars. Anyone else here old enough to remember Aurora AFX? That demo was for “slotless slot cars.”

    Remember electric football, where the “field” vibrates to make the little players move…

    On a more serious note, Apple should take the lead in developing personal robotic assistants for the physically disabled and elderly population.

    1. Well slot cars (scalextric) are still going strong and being sold in a shop less than 50 yards from where I am typing this. Loved them as a kid indeed had one of the original kits with metal cars and on off controller which shows my age. Yes it was the first thought I had on seeing the demo though I think it has far greater aims than that.

      I think this is just a hint at what they are aiming for and when he said its like bringing a computer game into the real world that really clicked with me as when working for a RC model company 5 years ago it was a concept that I saw the potential for even then with the limited overlap being experimented with. This company seem to understand what needs to be done for the long term while developing products for the shorter term.

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