Here at IAT, we love golf. Last month, we featured Active Mind Technology’s Game Your Game, which tracks and displays your golf game in a dynamic interface with stats, trends and information that you can share on social media. Now, we turn to another interesting wearable device for everyday amateur golfers in GolfSense. After strapping this lightweight plastic sensor onto your glove, it collects information about your swing and transforms this into a 3D representation of the swing using the accompanying app for iOS and Android devices.
According to the company, its patented high velocity motion engine uses data from 4 different sensors embedded into the device, accurately calculating club speed, club position, swing tempo and swing path. This data further yields figures such as club head acceleration, hand speed and acceleration, and wrist rotation speed. The app also enables comparisons between different swings and provides feedback on their qualities, but focuses on only displaying accurate data. Jason Fass, CEO of parent Zepp US, Inc. explains:
“We could give you a bunch of numbers, but they wouldn’t be as accurate as they should be. We will give the user only what we can accurately measure.”
This approach brings up an increasingly relevant issue with all wearables: Accuracy. One CNET review observes a problem with the Nike Fuelband, which generates 19 points for brushing your teeth but no points for doing 20 pushups, and other wrist activity trackers, which have similar issues. In the case of the Fuelband, fashion definitely trumped accuracy, and with so many units in the market, the market didn’t seem to care. What happens in the future, is another story.
To address these issues, many wrist devices have increasingly offered manual input solutions to track missed exercises. We applaud GolfSense for its commitment to accuracy, but a grim reality remains for many devices that accurately analyzing output from sensors is incredibly difficult. Amazon reviewers gave the product an average 3.5 star rating, and individuals noted advantages that its glove approach to tracking and disadvantages in sometimes complex setup and troubleshooting. As technology improves, we think that consumers will increasingly demand devices and systems that deliver accurate results. It will be interesting to see whether and how accuracy matters in wearables over time. We think players like MotionX by Fullpower Technologies, which has a broad patent portfolio related to motion sensors, accuracy, and power management, and the know how to deliver this technology to the market having a large role driving the market to more accurate metrics.