An innovative gameboard levels up the digital board game experience by integrating tactile and digital elements. Launched in the AARP Innovation Labs exhibit at CES 2022, Gameboard enhances tabletop gameplay by interacting with handheld game pieces.
With a Gameboard and Internet service, users can play with anyone, any time. This is something that can help seniors stay connected with family and friends while having fun. Tactile gaming may also slow down or even reduce cognitive decline in dementia patients. A small but growing body of research supports this, including this 2020 study that shows an association between impaired executive function and reduced hand function.
The Last Gameboard platform features a variety of games and game studios, including traditional checkers and card games, contemporary tabletop games such as Zu Tiles: Hime, and many digital roleplaying options. The latter includes Battlemapp, a popular free virtual tabletop that facilitates digital mapmaking for online encounters and full-scale roleplay games.
Using a ramped-up version of capacitative touch technology used in smartphones and tablets along with advanced machine learning, the Gameboard can identify physical shapes, track tagged objects, and detect an object’s position relative to the device. Players can use ordinary game pieces, character miniatures, and other objects, or choose to play with digital game pieces.
At $799, Gameboard may be out of reach for many seniors and their families. However, care facilities that purchase the device should see considerable return-on-investment, as Gameboard makes it easy and fun to stay engaged and connected to loved ones.