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Automatic tracking of golf games for improvement and training purposes, using GNSS receivers, wearable sensors and Earth Observation information

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GOLFTRACKER (Automatic tracking of golf games for improvement and training purposes, using GNSS receivers, wearable sensors and Earth Observation information)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2015-08-31

The overall objective of GOLFTRACKER is to develop and market a wearable product for automatic tracking of golf shots, by collecting and combining data from satellite and wearable sensors. The product aims to provide golfers with statistics and metrics from the game that should allow them making performance improvements through post analysis, benchmarking and sharing results with peers and instructors.
This phase 1 project focuses on assuring technical and economic feasibility to develop and market the proposed innovation as well as performing user assessments on the existing solutions.
The technical feasibility implies looking at different solutions to combine data collected from Global Navigation Satellite System and motion sensors together with Earth Observation mapping. The resulting product would ultimately comprise a wearable device implemented on top of existing commercial off-the-shelf hardware (such as a smartwatch) or a specific tracking device for golfing (such as a wristband) using a sensor fusion approach. The project shall also assess the practicability of using a specific EGNOS/Galileo processing algorithms for golfing that can lead to patent registration.
The user assessment proposes making prototype demonstrations and user’s trials, collecting feedback from the golfers’ community and then performing tool improvements. BLUECOVER’s prototypes available for trials are the Golf Analysis Tool (web software) and Golf Analysis Tracker (Smartphone APP).
The economic viability aims to make a market survey, analyse the relevant golf segments and consolidate the opportunity on a market-oriented product. The final goal of the activity aims to confirm the auto-tracking business case that can lead to the development of wearable device supported by the two EU Space flagships: Galileo/EGNOS and Copernicus/Sentinels.
The work is led by BLUECOVER with the participation of third-parties. The proposed innovation is aimed at equipment and training segment (golf lessons) with estimated revenues of 3300 Million euros per year in Europe.
The analysis of the project’s technical feasibility resulted in 4 technical notes, 4 prototypes and 1 simulation. The technical notes on both general (smartwatch) and specific (wristband) tracking devices allowed to identify and select the most promising approaches for the auto-tracking innovation opportunities. The technical note of the advanced tracking device allow to validate the GNSS processing concept and the identification of the methodology that can be protected using IPR. Developed prototypes of the smartwatch, contactless sensors, wristband and augmented positioning allowed to further validate these approaches, highlighting the advantages and drawbacks, and helping to define an implementation roadmap for the most relevant opportunities, including the auto-tracking wristband.
The user assessment established a focus group composed of 6 members including PGA instructors, course managers and golfers. Five iterative cycles were conducted, including demonstrations, trials, feedback collection and tool’s improvement in each of them. The activity enable making a user validation of the current solutions as well as reaching a wider community and disseminating both new and future product's features.
The business viability confirmed that the best business opportunity is the auto-tracking wristband. The activity consolidated the opportunities on a set of solutions, each with their revenue streams, following a market analysis (competition, size and trends) and a market survey (approximately 30 inquiry surveys were performed from personal interviews and on-line requests). The analysis results highlighted the uniqueness and the new innovations of the project, in particular the three product’s differentiators - automation, accuracy, power autonomy - as well as the patenting plans. A business plan was produced for the development and commercialization of a new product with the brand name Trueshot.
The main output of this project is the business plan that consolidates the strategy to develop and market the Trueshot product. The plan defines a step by step Go-To-Market strategy, the investment needs and the sales forecast. Sales are mainly driven by the wristband product and are expected to start by the end of 2016 with some Trueshot software based products and services. The product will start generating a positive P&L in 2019, reaching a good revenue level in 2020 (680K €), following the boost of the wristband commercialization (with the US market entry and increased number of premium users). The business plan implementation shall allow to create up to 10 new employment opportunities during development and operations.
User Trials with Golf Analysis Tracker
Shot Detection prototype with a Smartwatch
Auto-tracking Wristband prototype
Trueshot new product brand
Contactless Sensors prototype
Satellite Based Augmentation System prototype