Scalextric is teaming with Nordic Semiconductor to bring Bluetooth connectivity to its RCS-series slot car bases. The RCS One, RCS, Air, and RCS Pro will use Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth chip. The track will connect to a mobile app on iOS and Android where controllers can access staff, name and appoint virtual drivers, car management and maintenance that affects on track performance of the cars, and social media links. The RCS Powerbases will insert into existing Scalextric sets.
Scalextric to bring smartphone and tablet app racing to slot-cars for the first time using Bluetooth Smart wireless technology from Nordic Semiconductor
Scalextric smartphone app supports exciting and realistic race statisticsand functionality
Oslo, Norway – March 4, 2013 – Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSE: NOD) today announces that the Scalextric slot-car division of British global toy giant, Hornby Hobbies Ltd, has specified Nordic nRF51822 SoCs to provide Bluetooth® Smart wireless connectivity in its brand new Scalextric RCS (Race Control System) that won a prestigious ‘Best New Toys 2014’ award at the recent London Toy Fair.
Scalextric RCSTM comprises three ‘Powerbase’ plug and play track accessories – the entry-level analog RCS OneTM (wired), the medium-level RCS AirTM (wireless), and the top-end digital RCS ProTM (wireless) – allowing users to wirelessly create and manage races via an app running on a compatible Bluetooth Smart Ready device (full list at www.scalextric.com/RCS); downloadable from either the Apple App Store or Google Play store.
The app supports all kinds of exciting and realistic race statistics and functionality – some of which will directly affect their slot car’s performance – including driver names, number of laps and times, fastest lap, fuel levels, tire wear levels, customized throttle response. Users can even post their race stats on Facebook and Twitter to compare results with friends online.
In addition, Scalextric has developed (optional) ‘Hand Throttle’ wireless controllers that employ proprietary Nordic nRF24LE1 2.4GHz SoCs to provide the wireless connectivity between the controller and the Powerbase track accessory, and (again optional) pit lanes.
“Since the launch of the Scalextric brand in 1957, we have amassed a significant consumer base, with millions of Scalextric products having been sold throughout the world,” says Dale Luckhurst, Marketing Manager at Scalextric. “With the addition of a single Powerbase track, existing consumers can suddenly bring their Scalextric straight into the 21st century with racing features and statistics that even a few years ago would have been considered impossible to achieve on a mass-market consumer toy product.”
“Importantly for us this includes our customers being able to use their existing slot cars without any costly, or indeed complicated, modifications or upgrades,” adds Scalextric Product Development Manager, Darren Nye. “So instead of having a toy that plugs into an app, we have an app that plugs into an existing much-loved toy to make it even more fun and exciting to use.”
Nye adds: “I also have to commend Nordic Semiconductor for the way in which they have supported us throughout the product development process. As a toy manufacturer, we are not used to designing high technology products and none of our engineers came from an electronics engineering background. So at first the idea of adding Bluetooth Smart functionality to our Scalextric slot-car range was a very challenging and ambitious project for us.
“But with Nordic’s support and the obvious technological investment the company has made in minimizing unnecessary complexity when implementing Nordic’s Bluetooth Smart and 2.4GHz wireless chip solutions, we have succeeded in making Scalextric slot-car racing even more fun and exciting than ever before.”
“There are few market segments more cost sensitive than the toy industry,” summarizes Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor’s Director of Sales & Marketing, “and few segments more able to benefit from the fun, simplicity, and freedom that wireless connectivity can create.
“And with the advent of Bluetooth Smart technology, it has never been easier to develop wireless toys at mass-market price points by leveraging the computing power, user interface, and display simplicity of an every-increasing number of Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphones and tablets that consumers will already own and so can use and enjoy at no extra cost. And that’s a win-win for both the toy industry and consumers.”
Scalextric RCSTM will be available later this year and available from all major toy retailers worldwide or direct from Scalextric at www.scalextric.com/RCS.
The exciting world of Scalextric (owned by Hornby Hobbies Ltd) lets you race for real. Recreating the international motorsport’s elite for over 50 years, Scalextric is the world’s leading slot racing system.
The Godfather of Boys’ Toys and an iconic British brand, Scalextric has produced incredible slot racing products since 1957. Scalextric recently introduced their incredible Digital system, which offers realistic overtaking for up to six players. Over the years, Scalextric has replicated some of history’s most famous vehicles and licensed cars, including cars from James Bond, Disney/Pixar, Lotus, McLaren and BMW. Scalextric is, and always has been, a brand in pole position.
About Hornby Hobbies Ltd
The Hornby brand is a household name and famous as the UK brand leader in the model railway hobby. As a Company, Hornby Hobbies has evolved to incorporate famous UK brands such as Airfix and Humbrol in model kits and paints, Corgi in die-cast, Scalextric slot racing and Breyer with collectable model horses. Hornby has expanded internationally with the acquisition of Electrotren, Rivarossi, Jouef and Arnold