20,000 Scrabble board packs RFID technology, enables realtime online tournament results

Used to be, the Scrabble app was the techiest way to play the venerable vocabulary game, but the folks at Mind Sports have given the analog version some serious geek cred. In preparation for the Prague Mind Sports Festival, the organizers spent £20,000 building a Scrabble board with integrated RGB controlled LED lighting, nine embedded circuit boards and 225 RFID antennas (one per square). Plus, special game pieces were crafted containing RFID tags. Why? Well, the wireless tech combined with some purpose-built software lets tournament organizers broadcast games online in real-time -- the system reads the board in a mere 974 miliseconds. Those wishing to see the ultimate Scrabble system in action can do so when the tournament starts on December 1st, and there's more info in the PR after the break.

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World's Most Advanced and Expensive SCRABBLE™ System Unveiled

PLYMOUTH, England, November 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Scrabble gets a technological makeover ahead of the Prague Mind Sports Festival

Mind Sports (International), part of the Living it Loving it Ltd. group of companies has given SCRABBLE™ a 21st Century makeover resulting in the creation of arguably the most expensive and advanced tournament Scrabble system in the world!

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121115/574134 )
Set to be unveiled and used by participants at the eagerly anticipated Prague Mind Sports Festival (December 1 - 4), the revolutionary Scrabble system is a 'tech-lovers' dream and is the result of months and months of development and testing.

Costing in excess of £20,000 to produce, the system utilises custom built RFID technology in order to read the entire Scrabble board almost instantaneously (974 milliseconds), transmitting the information via unique software to viewers online.

"Our goal was to help bring popular Scrabble tournaments to life, whilst reaching a wider audience by capturing tournament play in a technologically advanced and engaging manner," explains Dave Brannan, CEO, Mind Sports (International) and Living it Loving it Ltd.

"This allows us to broadcast Scrabble in all its glory, interacting with viewers that share a passion for this iconic game and mind sports as a whole across the world."

The Scrabble board consists of nine RFID circuit boards that house 225 RFID antennas, which read each individual Scrabble square. Each Scrabble letter tile has its own uniquely identifiable RFID tag embedded within (100 in total), with an RFID circuit board enclosed in each of the players tile racks to ensure that all information is captured and showcased to the online viewers.

The tournament play software, created by leading UK developers The Site Doctor, extracts the information collected via the RFID readers and relays it on screen in an easy-to-follow, graphical display alongside the HD video footage of each player. Coupled with the online streaming of the tournament; fans of Scrabble will be able to easily track the action live as it unfolds from the venue - creating a front seat atmosphere from the comfort of their own homes.

In addition to the technology integration, a great deal of work has also gone into the aesthetics of the new Scrabble system. The board's turntable unit has a carbon fibre finish and integrated RGB controlled LED lighting system in order to bring additional style and complete customisation to the table - a design which has quickly become a focal point of the festival following recent pictures being leaked via Twitter.

Whilst at the festival the new system will also receive in-depth review from some of the biggest names in the industry. Attendance of current World Scrabble Champion, Nigel Richards, has recently been confirmed as well as Canadian expert, John Chew, and Rachel Riley from Channel 4's Countdown reporting from the event.

For more information about the festival and debut of the new Scrabble system, please visit: http://www.PragueMindSportsFestival.com.