Bob Baddeley is a believer that any game can be “official.” All you need is a light and an easy-to-transport scoreboard, and that is where he believes his DigiTally comes in.
The idea for the product–and his company Portable Scores–developed while Baddeley was at a New Year’s Eve party. He was playing table tennis with friends and found himself frustrated by the lack of a good scorekeeping method.
After coming up with the initial idea for the business, Baddeley took action to make the plan into a reality. He started by building a simple prototype, then went to China for three months for a hardware startup accelerator program.
“Going to China for three months was an intense learning experience. I came out of it knowing what to look out for when doing business, how to do it, all the hidden costs and challenges, and a lot of horror stories,” Baddeley said. “It was worth the trip in the sense that I am now much more capable of doing the analytics and logistics necessary, sourcing components and manufacturing, and protecting my company’s assets.”
Upon returning, Baddeley’s next step was to distribute the finished design. His plan is to sell both directly to consumers through online services and to get the product in stores as well.
When discussing the product’s use, Baddeley said his favorite memory involved an Ultimate Frisbee game. He set up the DigiTally on the field, controlled it with his smart phone and watched as the audience and competitors became excited about the product. By the end of the game, the audience was counting down the final seconds out loud along with the scoreboard.
“It was validation of exactly what I was trying to accomplish–getting everyone to feel like the game was more important and competitive and professional,” Baddeley said. “(We were) engaging the audience and players around what was happening and solving a real problem of information awareness and confusion in rec sports.”
Portable Scores’ DigiTally is priced at $250 for pre-sale purchase and $299 for retail.