The Square Off robotic chess board was already a great device for these times. The system makes it possible to play a solo game using 20 different degrees of difficulty or challenge someone remotely through chess.com. I met with the Mumbai-based startup a couple of CESes ago, and was quite impressed with the execution.
Now, in the face of massive global isolation courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has introduced a video calling feature. Using the connected app, players can connect with one another across the globe. It’s not quite like having another human on the other side of the board, but in these trying times and all that, we’ll take what we can get.
“The lockdowns have motivated people to rediscover their passion and the chess community is expanding,” CEO Bhavya Gohil says in a release. “The recent addition to the video calling feature was the call of the hour and we are thrilled for the response it has received. It takes the experience of connected board gaming one notch ahead. We are constantly innovating to provide the most quintessential gaming experience.”
The company says it has seen a 30% uptick in time spent on the board since the pandemic began. For those who are interested, there are a number of different board configurations currently available through the Square Off site.