How the first Internet-connected (IoT) NHL scoreboard got to market

How the first Internet-connected (IoT) NHL scoreboard got to market

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Internet of Things (IoT) experience key to project turnaround, 50% cost reduction, and on-time delivery.

Fantasy Scoreboards Inc.’s journey to success was not direct. Will Nault and Tyler Richards’ idea for a “connected” NHL scoreboard began as nothing more than friends having a discussion over a beer.

Their vision was to bring a real-time NHL score-tracking experience into sports bars and homes, where hockey fans could follow game scores through a wall-mounted Internet-connected display that streams all of the score and game data from the arena scoreboard.

The new value was glanceable awareness of the game while in social settings. TV’s can be awkward to read and socially distracting when enjoying time with your friends.

But they ended up getting stuck in the IoT product development quagmire.

Their initial attempt to create the Internet-connected scoreboard was rocky to say the least - and costly - as there are challenges that make adding connectivity to a product very different from the more established aspects of product design.

Connectivity alters the customer journey and the physical design of your product; it requires IT team readiness, radio selection, remote control, and software and mobile apps; and it raises new questions with regards to security, support, and warranties.

The Result ?

After selecting a couple of organizations to assist with the product creation – and then trying to manage all of the project variables that kept popping up – Fantasy Scoreboards reached a point where the projected costs of production for their product were far too high for them to meet the business and revenue models that they had so carefully planned.

They now understood the realities of the IoT ecosystem.

Their experience with various vendors, who dealt in everything from software design and development to hardware and manufacturing, had been disjointed, filled with delays, and had involved more cost increases than their project could handle.
A Fresh Start

Will and Tyler realized that, to make their IoT project successful, they needed to work with companies that understood the overall project and could work together towards the same objectives.
With little time to spare, Fantasy Scoreboards engaged Design 1st to turnaround the complex project. And by following a predictable development process, the IoT scoreboard progressed from design to a market-ready product in only a few months, resulting in:

  • Project delivered in half the usual industry design time: After a complete design restart, the scoreboard was shipping units within five months.
  • Production cost slashed to 50%: A complete redesign, new components, and a new manufacturing process yielded huge cost reduction.
  • A reliable product that performs: A new IoT architecture overcame the original design flaws; the new product easily handles real time streaming data volumes and enables complete cloud-based control and firmware updating.

The Fantasy Scoreboard is now in production and can be purchased at

Read Full Case Study

Navigating the maze of product development for an IoT Device is challenging and experience is critical. A Canadian IoT Startup discovered this the hardway. Read their story

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