Atlanta (press release) – Ahead of CES Las Vegas 2019, Square Off is the world’s first ever chess board that can connect chess players across the world. Not just that, it can think and make a move on its own too. It’s alive, literally.
Square Off, from India, has been gaining much love across the world, as the first batch of owners can’t stop smiling watching the chess pieces move automatically. It takes players offscreen and lets them play against a faceless opponent – a friend, a family member or a stranger, sitting across the borders. No wonder that the media has been calling it as “The Harry Potter chessboard”.
Enabled by AI, robotics and sensors, Square Off evolved from a prototype originally designed to assist those with disabilities play chess. The mobile app allows you to connect with millions of players around the globe as well as with friends and family, whether across the country or across town. An integration with Chess.com (25 million users worldwide) means there is always an opponent available, or you can play against the board’s AI, selecting from 20 different skill levels. Square Off can even stream live championship matches on your board.
What’s next for Square Off after Kickstarter?
Obviously, an idea like this can stop at nothing. The co-founder Bhavya Gohil says, “after being 1000% funded (Kickstarter+indiegogo) and delivering to our first set of backers, Square Off has taken that big leap. We have launched the website and have received amazing response as we opened our 2nd batch of bookings. Which means, additions of more boards, more offscreen happy players and a gigantic Square Off community”.
The priority sale
The priority bookings opened on 19th April, 2018, only to the people who had signed-up earlier to express their interest in owning Square Off. And a special 20% discount was offered to them as compared to the regular 10% discount that Square Off has been offering on the website. The limited stock sale was a success as the chessboards got wiped out in flat 4 days. The production of the second batch has already begun in the factory based in China. Once they are ready, they’ll be air-shipped to ensure quick delivery, that is within 2-4 weeks. And this time the shipping is free.
“An ever-improving experience is the key to happy customers. And that’s the most important thing for us. That’s why we want to keep making the playing experience better and better through firmware and app updates”, says co-founder Aatur Mehta. Here’s a quick look at what the board offers today and what it will be capable of, in the future.
What the board has got today?
– 20 difficulty levels. A beginner or a grand master, Square Off can match up to everyone’s chess capabilities
– Challenge anyone across the globe, doesn’t matter if they have a board or not
– A battery that lasts up to 30 games, play non-stop from anywhere
– Auto reset, it means no hassle of arranging the pieces. The Grand Kingdom board magically resets on its own, so that you are ready to get on to the new game, in no time
– The board keeps getting better and better as it ages. New firmware updates keep pushing the improvements as we keep learning from more and more games played across the globe
What the future has in store?
– 21 million chess.com players
– Schedule a game: Chat with friends and arrange a game at a mutually convenient time
– Export and share game: Play a game on Square Off, share it with friends, start a conversation
– Leaderboard – See how well you rank against your friends, and keep an eye on who is leading
– Analyze game – Record games, analyze and learn from your own moves
– Train: Learn the best moves from the pros as you get the best tips and tricks to ace the game
– Prompt mode – AI drops a hint whenever needed, to help players learn and be a pro at it
– Live streaming of games – Follow your favorite players, follow their moves in real time on your Square Off and learn, while they compete in tournaments across the globe
– Chess Pieces: A set of 34 magnetic chess pieces + 2 extra queens (King’s height – 2.5 inch)
Board: Medium density fibre body with rosewood finish
– Size of Kingdom set: 468*468*48mm
– Weight: 8 lbs
– Battery: 2200 mAh Li-ion battery (lasts up to 30 games)
– Bluetooth: BLE 4.1
– Processor: arm cortex M0 32 bit processor
– AMagnetic Components: Compact 2-axis robotic arm with magnetic head under the board surface, to move the chess pieces
Bhavya Gohil and Aatur Mehta, the two engineering students from KJ Somaiya college, had created a prototype of a chessboard in 2014. A chessboard that was designed to let people play against anybody in the world, on a real board. They co-founded Infivention Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a consumer electronic start-up in 2015 to make this far-fetched concept a reality. Slowly they build an enthusiastic and collaborative team of 15 based out of India, China and the USA to design Square Off – the first ever chessboard in the world that’s capable of connecting chess lovers across the world. Not just that, it can think and make a move on its own too. It’s literally alive!
The transformation from the prototype to this elegant looking, smooth chessboard wasn’t an easy task. Several Expos, numerous feedbacks and iteration after iteration has led to this magical product. After the successful Kickstarter funding and deliveries, now the company’s aim is to invest in improving the experience, deliver bigger volumes, and moreover think of fresher ideas from scratch. Because, it’s not just about great ideas or technology, it’s about making great ideas happen through the creative integration of technology.
At Infivention, the idea is to enable people across the world to connect over games, off screen. How? By building games, that let people play, interact and learn in newer ways.