Scrabble is one of the most popular board games of all times. Almost everybody I know owns a scrabble set, which includes the very familiar square board made of cardboard, letter tiles and tile racks made from cheap plastic or wood! Scores are jotted down on paper using a pen. No fuss, no complicated accoutrements, just simple wholesome fun.
Recently, Mind Sports International decided that the lowly game board needs a high-tech and expensive make-over. In time for the company’s upcoming festival in Prague (December 1-4, 2012), a new state-of-the-art Scrabble board was developed. The technologically-advanced game board features LEDs, RFID chips and software that transmits the game to the Internet in real time, eliminating the need to record and track scores with pen and paper.
The board houses 225 RFID sensors underneath each square that detect the presence of letter tiles with corresponding RFID sensors. Throughout the game, the software scans the board every 974 milliseconds to transmit the game to a live-stream on the web.
Aside from the sophisticated tracking technology, the board is also given a modern look. It is clad in carbon fiber and raised in a lighted platform that houses the complicated inner workings. The upgrade made the board the world’s most expensive Scrabble board.
According to Mind Sports International, they spent more than £20,000 (around US$31,800) to develop and create the new board, not to mention taking months to test it. The company hasn’t released a commercial price tag yet, but based on what they spent on research and development, you take a good guess at what its toy store price will be like.