Those of you over the age of 25 might remember something called “baseball” — I used to play baseball when I was a kid. In the days before everyone spent all of their time inside on the internet, children used to go to the “park” and play baseball for fun.
And as most of you know, some grown-ups play baseball for a job. And many other grown-ups (and kids too!) who don’t play baseball for a living like to either watch it on TV, listen to it on the radio, or maybe track it on their favorite sports website.
Enter the Liveboard — a dead-ass simple way to follow every baseball game in real-time. Think of it like a little Bluetooth-enabled scoreboard for your desk, constantly updating itself similar to how you’d follow a game on a sports website.
I’ll level with you. I don’t follow baseball as closely as I’d like to but I’m definitely a fan. And having the Liveboard within my line of sight while working all the live long day has been great.
Setup is pretty easy and entails downloading the Liveboard Manager software and installing the included USB Bluetooth module. Once you’ve paired the Liveboard to your computer, you choose from the list of current games via the Liveboard Manager or choose to have it cycle through each game that’s being played every so often.
The frame itself is a nice complement to any sports fan’s den or rumpus room, consisting of a cool dark green surface adorned with bright LED lights for team names, scores, current inning, pitch count, batter, and baserunners. The unit plugs in via A/C adapter to any two-pronged wall outlet. The whole getup is really light, too, making it easy to move from room to room (provided you’re close enough to your computer).
Best of all, for a truely diehard baseball fan, the fact that there aren’t any access fees is a great touch. You get all the games, each and every year, for a one-time investment of $199. There’s a 30-day trial, too, just in case it’s not for you.
There aren’t really any glaring cons, but maybe some features that’d be nice. As it stands, though, the Liveboard unit does what it claims to do with aplomb. No complaints there. The price is likely to be a bit too high for casual baseball fans who follow one team half-heartedly, but those people aren’t likely the target market.
It’d be cool if there were some simple sound effects for hits, outs, and runs scored. Nothing too fancy but I find myself getting distracted from time to time and all of a sudden, the game I was trying to follow has ended.
Also, maybe future generations could be self contained and work off of a Wi-Fi connection a la Chumby, which can pretty much do what the Liveboard does but for $20 less and with a whole bunch of other features.
Alas, the Liveboard’s not about a bunch of features. It’s about keeping you up to date on all the baseball games using a big, bright, readable board — and it does that quite well. I would love, love, love to see a football version of the Liveboard, although it’d likely have to be a bit more intricate. For baseball fans, though, this is a great device.
Liveboard Website [MyLiveboard.com]