Yes, that’s a fencing scoreboard, and, yes, that is a video game controller, and, yes, that’s what the referee holds to add the score up, but there is much more!
The system is attached to a lap top and using the controller, the machine says “fence” “halt” or anything else you want it to say. The noises can be adjusted to any sound file on your computer.
Even more interesting, is that the machine also provides data on the time between hits. The “3” on the picture above is th amount of time in milliseconds between the first hit and second. If only one light comes on and both fencers hit, the fencer whose light doesn’t come on can see how far away they were from getting their light on! Very cool!
I could see this being very helpful in practice for fencers when it comes to the timing of finishing an attack against preparation.
The one glitch I saw was that two machines were each using the same computer voice so the fencers on the wrong strip kept stopping for the other box, but that can easily be adjusted.
These machines just look way cooler also. Go job whoever figure this one out!