A Raspberry Pi / JavaFX Electronic Scoreboard Application

As evidenced at the recently completed JavaOne 2012 conference, community excitement towards the Raspberry Pi and its potential as a Java development and deployment platform was readily palpable.  Fast forward three months, Oracle has announced the availability of a JDK 8 (with JavaFX) for Arm Early Access Developer Preview where the reference platform for this release is none other than the Raspberry Pi.

What makes this especially interesting to me is the addition of JavaFX to the Java SE-Embedded 8 platform.  It turns out that at $35US, the (not so) humble Raspberry Pi has a very capable graphics processor, opening up a Pandora's box of graphics applications that could be applied to this beloved device.  As a first step in becoming familiar with just how this works, I decided to dust off a two year old JavaFX scoreboard application, originally written for a Windows laptop, and see how it would run on the Pi.  Low and behold, the application runs unmodified (without even a recompile).

The video that follows shows how an ordinary flat screen TV can be converted into a full screen electronic scoreboard driven by a Raspberry Pi.  The requirements for such a solution are incredibly straightforward: (1) the TV needs access to a power receptacle and (2) it must be within range of a WiFi network in order to receive scoreboard update packets.  The device is so compact and miserly from a power perspective, that we velcro the Pi to the back of the TV and get our power from the TV's USB port. If you can spare a few moments, it just might be worth your while to take a look.



Comments:

Very nice! I have some old screens lying around and have been inspired to buy some Raspberry Pi's to drive them...

Posted by Sten Vesterli on December 23, 2012 at 06:12 AM EST #

Great proof of concept, Jim. Do you have any idea why the link to the preview is dead?

Posted by Dan Donovan on December 28, 2012 at 08:52 AM EST #

Seems to be working now, I recall having an issue initially too. Maybe it's because so many people are flooding the jdk 8 arm preview download server :)

Posted by guest on December 28, 2012 at 09:30 AM EST #

Good stuff, thanks for doing a video. By chance ... Have you shared the source or partial source for that two year old JavaFX scoreboard application? With track season fast approaching, I think your idea can lead to an easy way to show splits at our indoor track that has no scoreboard.
thanks

Posted by guest on January 02, 2013 at 11:46 PM EST #

I don't have anything to hide, other than my pride in making public some pretty ugly code. Derived from the original JavaFX script, it's actually a lot older than two years, and pre-dates even the use of layout managers. Send me an email at james.connors@oracle.com, and we can talk about this.

Posted by guest on January 03, 2013 at 07:44 AM EST #

Darn, I just though of exactly the same setup; Pi's to convert big TV's into score displays, with a laptop as the central controller. But I wanted to go the extra mile and record the events as well (scores, player fauls, etc) so you can generate any game information, from score board, 24s clock to score sheet.

Posted by Tom on February 01, 2013 at 03:58 PM EST #

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