“Square Off” Chess; A Physical Bridge Over the Digital Game Divide

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A chess board whose pieces seem to move on their own…no, wait, actually they do move on their own.

The toy and game industry continues to struggle with how to combine the best of digital with the best of physical. It appears that two chess junkies, Bhavya Gohil and Aatur Mehta, have figured it out. 

I learned all about Square Off chess in a fascinating Wall Street Journal article by Dylan Love entitled "This Robotic Chessboard Is Like Something Out of Harry Potter"and that is an apt description for a chess board whose pieces seem to move on their own…no, wait, actually they do move on their own.

Imagine your sitting at your chess board and waiting for your opponent to move one of his or her finely carved wooden pieces. Except that your opponent isn't there. At least not physically. Rather, your opponent is on the other side of the world, physically moving a piece on their board, while at the same time, the same piece on your board almost magically moves in sync. 

And you don't even have to play another person. You can take your turn playing digital opponents at twenty different skill levels.

Wouldn't it be fun and satisfying to play Scrabble or any number of other games with a far away opponent and see actual pieces slide into place on the board? Mr. Gohil and Mr. Mehta have shown us how to make the best of both worlds, the physical and the digital; making it a truly phygital experience.

 

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