For many years there have been commercial wireless scoring systems that use dedicated units such as BridgeMate and BridgePad. However, a few years ago it became obvious that low end smartphones, being commodity devices produced in large quantities, were dramatically undercutting the prices of dedicated scoring units while at the same time providing superior displays, touch screen input, and superior functionality.
It is now usually possible to purchase new entry level contract-free android smartphones in the UK for prices in the region of 30 pounds (as of September 2017). The total price is less than a quarter of the price of a dedicated scoring unit from one of the main wireless scoring system vendors. Other options are to purchase new low cost android tablets, or to purchase second hand phones or tablets on eBay.
Our scoring system also uses an off the shelf wifi router, rather than a specialised wireless server designed solely to support dedicated scoring units. This again represents a significant cost saving.
A PC is required to host the scoring program, and interface to the scoring units via wifi. However, even the cheapest new Windows PCs have adequate performance and capacity for this function. Alternatively, some users choose to use an old second hand laptop which is no longer considered to have adequate capacity or performance for their day to day use.
At the above prices a scoring system for (say) 10 tables, excluding the cost of the PC, could be put together for less than 350 UK pounds. By comparison a 10 table Bridgemate II system is advertised at 1655 UK pounds at September 2017 prices.