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SHARPER IMAGE DESIGN TALKING CHESS COMPANION Electronic Chess Computer

SHARPER IMAGE DESIGN TALKING CHESS COMPANION Electronic Chess Computer

Picture taken from Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion computer.

 

IT’S YOU AGAINST THE COMPUTER! 345 PHRASES TO COACH, TEACH, AMUSE AND ABUSE YOU!

    • 25 selectable skill levels for beginner to intermediate players.
    • Special level just for beginners.
    • “Human” voice announces and lights up all moves and enties (voice can be turned off).
    • Special vocabulary modes for demonstration, teaching/coaching, visually handicapped players, and just CHESSTER’s lovable personality.
    • Sensory board automatically records your moves.
    • Beginners can take back moves and replay them without starting over!
    • Computer suggests moves for you to make.
    • Memory save feature stores unfinished game for days!
    • Uses 4 “AAA” batteries or AC adapter (both not supplied).
    • Includes magnetic chess pieces.

 

Hegener+Glaser AG M50743 Processing chip

Hegener+Glaser AG M50743 Processing chip.

Picture taken from Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion computer board.

 

ABOUT SHARPER IMAGE TALKING CHESS COMPANION MODEL SM 470

The chess program was written by Dan and Kathe Spracklen, with modification and enhancements made by Ron Nelson to suit the build of the computer.  The Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion speech technology, the software implementation,  computer design and build are attributed to Ron Nelson.  The same speech technology is also used in all Fidelity Chesster and Kishon computers as well as the Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion and Radio Shack Talking Chess Tutor.

The idea for a new voice computer started in 1989 when as quoted by Ron Nelson “Kathy Spracklen wanted to develop something along the educational lines for computer chess. So she started creating a script of what could be said during a game of chess.”  Nelson received her script and he subsequently presented her idea in a Marketing meeting.  During this meeting the idea of a “Wisecracker personality” was decided upon. 

Nelson explained  “All during the discussion, Teri Everett (the first Chess Challenger sales person hired, after the 1976 Consumer Electronics Show, held in Chicago at the Conrad Hilton Hotel), who is a doodler, showed the impish figure she had doodled on her note pad. It was the graphic we used for Chesster.”

For the voice system Nelson further explained that he flew to meet a Dr. Forrest Mozer who he had met many years previously at the University of California, Berkely during the time when he was first developing the voice used in the early Fidelity Challenger computers.  At that time Dr. Mozer had used his equipment to create the ROM subsequently used in the first speaking Challenger computers.

Dr. Mozer at the time of this meeting in 1989, had started his own Company named Sensory, Inc, now managed by his son.  Instead of using a chip as previously used in the Challenger series, Dr. Mozer now offered a 65C02 software solution.

For the Little Chesster / Talking Chess Companion, Ron Nelson explained that in order to reduce cost the LCD was eliminated and a single chip Micro-controller Unit (MCU) with external Read-Only Memory (ROM) and Random Access Memory (RAM) was used. 

As a result of these efforts, Little Chesster / Talking Chess Companion became a three chip solution which allowed the use of a single sided Printed Circuit Board for further cost savings.

 

Excerpts taken from the SHARPER IMAGE TALKING CHESS COMPANION  user manual and box and Ron Nelson reports available at the Hiarcs Forum for further reading and research.

Lancer Image 2-in1 Express Chess & Checker Computer Information

Technical Specification

Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion (1991)

Spacious Mind

Schachcomputer.Info

Active 2017

Tourn. 2015

-

-

T1

T2

T3

T4

T5

Final

-

-

-

-

-

-

MANUFACTURER

CREDITS

Hegener & Glaser

Spracklen/Nelson/Mozer/Everett

1900 USCF

1991

$149.00

Not Available

Year:

MFR ELO:

Original Price:

Wiki ELO:

Model #:

SM 470

My Serial #:

171506 & 172272

Processor OEM

Mitsubishi

Processor:

M50743

Speed:

Type:

8 Bit

8/4=2 MHz

ROM:

128 KB

RAM:

2 KB

Battery Type:

4 x AAA

Power Adapter:

9V DC +/-

Display:

16 Board LEDs

Board Type:

Press Sensory

Overall Size:

Board Size:

8x8 in

10/1/8x9.3/8x3/4

Options Select:

Button Select

Play Levels:

25

Opening Book:

12K Half Moves

Take Back:

64 Half Moves

Position Setup:

Available

Position Verify:

Available

Move Analysis:

Display Info:

Available

Available

Solve Mate:

Mate-in-8

Save Game:

Available

Ponder:

Available

Search Depth:

Not Known

Provide Hint:

Available

Teach Mode:

Available

Change Sides:

Available

Active Level:

TM Level:

A8

Infinite Level:

B1 to F8

Level A5

Hardware Specification

Game Features

Matchplay & Test ELO Ratings

Computer Game Rating

Rating Test

Other Computer Chess Ratings

USCF

USCF

Spacious Mind

Human Rating

USCF

CCR 93

CCNS 93

Ply 93

FIDE

USCF

1903

1888

1918

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-

 

Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion (1991) Electronic Chess Computer
Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion (1991) Electronic Chess Computer
Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion (1991) Board LED’s
Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion (1991) Model: SM 470
Sharper Image Talking Chess Companion (1991) Sensory Controls

Class A Level Electronic Table Top Chess Computer!

Board LED’s

Model: SM 470

Sensory Controls

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