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Meet tivit – the ultimate table tennis companion

Head shot of TomBy Tom O’Malley

Ever since we introduced table tennis to the Si office, the rhythmic bounce of the ball back and forth over the net has been part of the studio soundtrack. Every day members of the team take a break from their desks to have a friendly game and an informal catch up over the table.

However, we are a competitive bunch, so although we loved the chance to chat, keeping score was an issue and remembering who was serving was tricky. We were also all convinced we were the best player on the team, but how could we prove who really was the ping pong king or queen?

Our original solution 2 years ago involved custom hardware and embedding tiny RFID chips into our bats. While it was certainly a technical accomplishment and solved the problem initially, it was often plagued with connection issues as three pieces of hardware were trying to communicate over (sometimes temperamental) wifi. We open sourced the entire code base and while it was well received, few had the hardware knowledge or time to replicate our setup for themselves.

Then along came tivit. Our new web app is designed to end all the frustrations of keeping score, and settle any arguments about who is the reigning champion. Turn your smartphone into a virtual scoreboard and create custom leaderboards, with no download required.

https://wp.sidigital.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/finalwithnewaudio.mp4 Tivit demonstration video

Players can just tap the screen to record points scored. We have included audio cues so users don’t need to look at the screen to know who is winning or when to switch serve.

By releasing tivit as a web app we have removed all the complex hardware from our early scoring system, meaning we can easily share it with keen table tennis players everywhere, using the device that everyone already has in their pockets. We have made setup easy, an account can be created with just an email address, and once both players have opened the app a game can start straight away.

For the best playing experience, we recommend using a hands-free phone holder. Depending on the construction of the table this should be easy to attach underneath. Alternatively, the phone can be placed on a nearby surface that doesn’t interfere with gameplay, but within reach so the screen can be tapped to record points and so players can hear the audio cues.

Users can create their own leaderboards to clearly see who is the top player in the group. Based on an Elo Rating System, each player is allocated a standard Elo score. The winner of a game improves their ranking by taking points from their opponent. How many points the winner takes depends on the leaderboard position of the two players.

We’re currently in early beta testing, and we have an extensive list of new features we want to add over time, including a Tournament Mode for a quick competition. We are keen to receive as much feedback as possible about how tivit works for you and what else you would like from the app, so please drop us an email hello@tivitapp.com

Ready to give it a go? To play tivit now just visit https://play.tivitapp.com from your mobile web browser, challenge your friends and start the journey to the top of your own leaderboard!

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