Anki is a toy car racing game company that gave a demo of their product yesterday at the Apple WWDC conference. Anki raised $50 million in Series A and B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz quietly and launched in the fall. Other investors that participated in these rounds include Index Ventures and Two Sigma.
Anki uses artificial intelligence to race RC cars against opponents that try to block you from passing them. “It?s extraordinarily sophisticated software,| stated Marc Andreessen in a phone interview with TechCrunch, “and closer to the Google Self-Driving car than anything else. And really fast. We think it points to the direction of the future, bringing AI into the living room.”
“We gave our very first sneak peek of Anki Drive today at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. At first glance, it?s a racing game that pits real cars against players and each other ? but after playing for a few minutes, you?ll see what makes Anki Drive special: We are making the first video games in the real world, and our team has worked tirelessly on the robotics and AI challenges that this presents. Each car is equipped with sensors and intelligent software to make thousands of decisions every second. We use mobile devices not as remote controls, but as drivers for an immersive real-world experience. And we took great care to make sure that despite everything under the hood, the final experience is intuitive and entertaining,” said Anki on their company blog.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Anki Drive is the “future of robotics.” There is no word about what their next product will be at Anki or what the price will be. However we do know that the whole Anki Drive kit will sell for several hundred dollars.