Yes, to the run the Square Off board, the Square Off App is required to be running on a smartphone. The connectivity is established over BT (phone stays connected during gameplay) and used useful for:
-Allows the board to have a classical wooden (non tech) design with a single button. Making it a simple plug and play device.
-Side Selection, opening book selection, and other technical chess setup is done using the app.
-Selection of various Chess engines and processing of moves is done on the app.
-The app makes the board interactive. (e.g.: display of message, taking input from user, etc)
-The phones Data/WiFi capability enables you to play on the board from anywhere with anyone.
-The App seamlessly allows the board to be updated with more features as they get developed over time.
-The board could have its own dedicated hardware for all the above but the biggest advantage of using the App is we are able offer the boards at a VERY AFFORDABLE price point.