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Has the time come for some new Bridge Hardware?

For how long has Bridge and its predecessors been played with vinyl and cardboard playing cards and pencil and paper or bridgemate scoring? 

While Yu, I and the local club director were discussing the possibility of a "Swiss Pairs" event, I discovered that in order to run this fun-sounding event, I would need many sets of board (best would be 1 set for each table, but we might live with tables sharing).

This is quite frustrating and got me thinking, why don't we just have Bridge Tablets? We have definitely changed the hardware for playing live bridge continually over my career (cardboard cards that swelled with summer humidity, vinyl cards, bidding boxes, ACBLScore vs. Scoring the game by hand, bridgemates over travellers, shuffling machines, etc.).

They don't have to be multi-purpose tablets. Just a bridge tablet that could sit at the table. Now instead of shuffling and dealing, or picking your cards from the slot, you just power up your tablet. Board 1 or whatever, shows up, you bid a la BBO with self-alerts, etc. And the play of the hand takes place live at the table, so the social aspect remains. But maybe clubs and ACBLs could scoop up antiquated tablets that are now dated.

Now you can run barometer events as well as swiss pairs easily and hands can be duplicated in the electronic environment easily.

We could even have a test event at the Fall NABC -- Tablet Pairs.  LOL. Eliminate screens, build in automatic breaks in tempo (up to a reasonable point, after that players continue to be bound by ethics).

Is live tablet bridge a good idea?

Yes.
No, too expensive
No. No need for new hardware. Just use existing tablets.
No. People will figure out that they don't need to schlep over to the bridge club.
Maybe. What would the hardware look like?
Something else.

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