DigiTally - Connected Portable Scoreboard
DigiTally - Connected Portable Scoreboard
Make anything count! DigiTally is a portable scoreboard for all sports that connects to smartphones and fits in a backpack.
Make anything count! DigiTally is a portable scoreboard for all sports that connects to smartphones and fits in a backpack. Read more
About this project
Make anything count
With super bright 6" digits, you can read the scoreboard from the other side of a field. Use it for scoring and timing, with a settable countdown timer or a count up timer, and multiple scoring modes. Keep track of score and time together, and the display switches between them. We made it rugged so you can use it as hard as all your other sports gear.
How does it work?
All you have to do is plug it in! Either use the included AC adapter, or the AA battery pack*, or get a large rechargeable battery for even longer life. You can switch between modes for keeping score and time, and control the scoreboard using the buttons on top, the included remote control, or your Bluetooth Smart Ready enabled smartphone**.
*A case for 8 AA batteries is included, but the batteries are not. We recommend using rechargeable batteries.
**The DigiTally uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for communication. This is not yet supported on most Android devices, but is supported on Apple's iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone 5, and some iPod touch. It is a new standard and is becoming common on most new smartphones.
Who uses it
The DigiTally has been used in a lot of team sports leagues, schools, and gyms. Most times it's in a field where there is no other scoreboard, or where nobody has access to the permanently installed one. It is often used in practices for drills, scrimmages, races, and league games. It's used in gyms for crossfit and interval training. Our beta testers have used it for volleyball, hockey, bicycling, ultimate frisbee, flag football, and others. Sometimes they use it for lawn games like horseshoes, too.
What our users have said
We've been using this scoreboard for years, and we've sent some of our units out to people who asked to be beta testers. We frequently hear comments like "We're going pro!" and "Fancy" when people see the scoreboard. Here are some of the things we've heard:
"Using the scoreboard at high school volleyball practices and loving the convenience and the ease of the count down and up clock features of the scoreboard during drills and the scoring feature at other times." - Coach Mike
"The middle schools would love this for games and practices, and the high schools would use it for practice." - Tom
"I used the scoreboard during summer hockey and it was well received. The guys thought it is a great way to keep score." - Coach Rob
$5 Spectator Level: Hand signed postcard from the team. We really appreciate your support and will send you snail mail to prove it.
$30 Teammate Level: Custom edge-lit display. Everyone at Portable Scores has a handmade custom name plate for their desk, and you can join the team. We'll engrave your name on the display, or you can send us your design and we'll make you a completely personalized sign.
$199 Go-getter Level: An early-bird order for a black DigiTally. All DigiTally orders come with the scoreboard, a remote control, an AC adapter, and a battery case for 8 AA batteries.
$249 Athlete Level: An order for a black DigiTally. You may not have been an early bird, but we still think you're awesome, which is why you're getting yours far cheaper than our expected retail price of $299.
$269 True Fan Level: Custom colors for your DigiTally! Rock your favorite team colors with a choice of Red, Kickstarter Green, Blue, or Orange.
$500 Gearhead Level: You get all the things! In addition to a DigiTally in your color choice and all the previously mentioned accessories, we'll add a tripod, a carrying case, and an extra large capacity rechargeable battery with recharger so you'll last a full day.
$1000 Pro Level: Fancy VIPs deserve fancy treatment and their names on things. You'll get everything from the gearhead level, the custom nameplate, and your name will be on the back of every circuit board made for Kickstarter. We'll also send you a framed circuit board so you can commemorate your contribution.
Apps and developers
We knew from the beginning that people would use DigiTally for sports and activities we had never heard of. That's why we made it easy for people to extend the DigiTally.
DigiTally was designed by a nerd to make it easy to use the scoreboard however you want. The Bluetooth Low Energy module has a documented interface so you can connect to and control the scoreboard from any device using your own custom software.
Here's an example of an interval training app we built in just a few hours for one of our beta testers to use for her fitness class:
The scoreboard also has USB with an API that allows you to do the same thing, but with more devices. You can use it to display whatever you want. If you are using the scoreboard and have it connected, it will report its score and time, so you can connect it to custom tracking software. If you want to make hardware, you can build your own custom switches that control the scoreboard just like the remote. We've documented how to do that, too.
What started as an argument over ping pong in a garage has turned into the DigiTally. I was playing with some friends in a basement in 2006 and was frustrated by the lack of score keeping method. I realized that this frustration is shared by millions around the world who participate in competitive sports not just in the garage but in driveways, soccer fields, baseball fields, and gyms.
Here we are now—a company called Portable Scores with a three-person team and a fully developed scoreboard. In 2012 I started working full time on the scoreboard, and from March through May I went to Shenzhen, China as part of a hardware startup accelerator. You can read about my travels and China experience here. I continued developing the product after that and recruited Perry in August to help develop the business so I could focus on the tech. Katie joined in January 2013 as our branding genius and community builder. You can read updates about the development on our web site.
We've developed many functioning prototypes, have had them in use by some of our beta testers for over a year, and we're confident that the scoreboard works as it should. Our beta testers have come to rely on it, and we've been fortunate enough that every one of our testers has used it for a different sport.
We have gotten help from experts in every aspect of the development and design and have a product that is ready for manufacture. We've been using our local hackerspace Sector67 to develop the product, prototype, and sometimes for late night pizza-fueled labor.
Every part and assembly has been thoroughly tested. We've tried alternative components, designs, and assembly methods to find the best quality and reasonable costs and easy assembly, and we know what we're doing and are excited about the product.
We have sourced every component and toured local factories to find one that could handle the DigiTally within the time and budget. We will be assembling the scoreboards in the United States. We will have to source some components from China to keep costs low, but we have trusted connections and good relationships thanks to our time already spent over there.
We have an aggressive timeline because we've spent over a year developing the product already. We've calculated how long it will take to assemble, how much everything will cost down to the tape on the box, and we have factories ready to go and suppliers sending us samples of alternative parts in case we have supply issues. We're ready to go!
- March: We get your support! Tooling starts the day we hit our goal.
- April: Campaign complete, we order parts.
- May: Tooling complete, plastics start being produced.
- June: Electronics parts arrive and get assembled at factories. FCC self-certification.
- July: Final assembly and testing.
- August: Your door!
Why we need you
The DigiTally is a physically large product, and making the tooling for the injection mold is expensive. We also need bulk orders of components to get the costs down to an affordable number. Assembly lines take time to set up and take down, so factories don't like working in small quantities and will charge more per piece. We need you to help us get enough pre-orders to offset the tooling and get the cost of components down.
So we are asking YOU to help us. If you think DigiTally is awesome and you want one of your own—you can buy one here! If you still think DigiTally is awesome, but want to make a smaller contribution, EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS. Check out our other super-cool rewards on the side.
Our slogan is Make Anything Count, and your support definitely counts.
* and a big thank you to Keva Sports Center, Sector67, Eric Allin, Nick Starno, and the many other people who have contributed so far as beta testers, film extras, advisors, experts, and cheerleaders.
Risks and challenges
Like any hardware project, we face quality control risks. We are mitigating these risks by only sourcing some parts from trusted sources in China and doing assembly in the United States, as well as building test rigs for every stage of assembly.
We may have delivery date delays due to factors out of our control, including tooling time (typically 6-8 weeks, but can take longer if there are issues), component lead time (we've identified some long lead parts but also viable alternatives, but there's always the risk of someone buying up all the stock of a particular part), and factory availability (we've talked to multiple factories about the time to complete and availability, but planning too far in advance is difficult). We have a very complex product with many parts supplied by many factories, and coordinating components and assembly may be difficult.
We shouldn't have any issues with government regulations (for example FCC for wireless transmission in the US, and IC and ETSI in Canada and Europe), but there remains the possibility that some obscure rule or duty could add challenges to the logistics. We have been working with a licensed customs broker for all our transportation logistics and he is comfortable handling this job, and we've worked with multiple companies that specialize in wireless technologies to make sure we are jumping through the right regulation hoops.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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