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Play Harry Potter wizard’s chess with this robotic board

White, black or both can be controlled automatically by the board thanks to its integrated magnetic magic, and the system is designed so the pieces cleverly avoid hitting each other

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Square Off, currently a Kickstarter project, brings the best of modern tech to the classic board game feel – while it looks like a standard board, it’s connected to apps and the web, and can use small magnetic trackers to move pieces around autonomously.

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So if you’re playing someone in another part of the world, you’re not limited to watching moves on an app: you can see them in real-life on your board. The magnetic chess pieces can also be controlled by the system’s built-in AI, or you can watch a real Grand Master game play out before your very eyes. With both integrated connectivity and the capacity to move pieces on its own, Square Off has plenty of potential (indeed its backers want to adapt it for more board games in the future too). Seems like there’s plenty of demand for the board as well – at the time of writing, the Kickstarter campaign has reached almost three times its £40,000 goal. When these ingenious boards officially go on sale at some point next summer they’re expected to cost in the region of £300, if you haven’t got in early with a pledge.

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