As Ireland’s economy dipped into decline in early 2009, the first trickles of an uplifting wave of investment from the international tech sector were already spilling into Dublin’s docklands.
Dublin: 27.01.2015 01.05AM
Game Golf, a technology invented by Irishman John McGuire of Active Mind Technology and designed by Jawbone’s Yves Béhar, today launched its IndieGoGo campaign to bring the product to market by summer. The sleek hardware and software combo promises to record, analyse and improve a golfer’s game.
The technology has received the backing of sportsmen Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood, as well as investors and advisers that include Yahoo!’s Jerry Yang , storage giant Seagate, former Palm CEO Ed Colligan, PayPal’s David Marcus and early Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya. He also also been advised by Liam Casey of PCH International.
McGuire is a former sports therapist and software engineer and is a graduate of Jerry Kennelly’s Endeavour accelerator programme.
McGuire has developed a new piece of hardware that will enable golfers and potentially other athletes to improve their performance, combining physics and hardware with apps and analytics.
The Game Golf is a discreet wearable device that tracks the data around the golf course and uploads the data automatically to an intuitive app that allows the golfer to track and analyse the data collected.
The product – which McGuire describes as a kind of Nike+ for golfers – consists of a wearable device plus 15 tags that fit neatly into the handles of golf clubs.
It tracks the most important statistics from your golf game, including club-by-club performance, fairway accuracy, greens in regulation and putting.
“The device knows your location and motion sensors on the clubs talk to the device. Once you pair this data back with the app you can then see your game visually, shot-by-shot,” McGuire explained.
He said Bluetooth enables streaming and eventually the plan is to allow game-monitoring in real-time.
“You can compete with friends over 18-hole golf clubs spread around the world and see who does the best.”
Prior to embarking on his career as an entrepreneur, McGuire explained that he worked at Nortel in Galway, where he was a software engineer responsible for building data warehouses.
When he was a student at UL members of the sports faculty would come to him to consult on software programs that would help them to prepare mentally for upcoming matches.
McGuire says as well as his high-profile backers, he has enlisted the support of 11-times world champion surfer Kelly Slater, who sees merit in the device potentially being used by surfers and snow boarders.
McGuire said the technology has been in development for three years – the first year in Ireland the past two years in Silicon Valley.
“We are launching on IndieGoGo as a pre-order site,” McGuire explained, pointing to the success of the creators of the Ouya console in bringing their product to market through crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
The company’s goal is to raise US$125,000 in 30 days and at the time of writing more than US$9,000 has been raised.