TLink is a light-weight Bluetooth device that pairs with a smartphone to provide golfers with accurate front, middle and back yardages to the green. Users are also provided with information about their steps taken, calories burned and distance walked on the golf course.
Derek Rucki, co-founder and CEO of TLink, needed help with phase two of the technology. The first version of TLink involved tracking yardages. For version two, Rucki wanted to incorporate sensor data – which would allow golfers to improve their golf swings.
“A golf swing happens in less than three seconds and we needed accurate data points,” says Rucki. “We knew it was possible to capture the sensor data but we didn’t know what sensors we needed so the data would be reportable.”
Rucki says the first version of the product was manufactured in China, which had economic benefits but challenges due to language barriers.
“For the second version of TLink, we wanted to take out the headaches and mistakes,” he says. “We wanted to keep it local and work with a team that had expertise in this area.”
Rucki approached the Centre for Innovative Information Technology Solutions (CIITS) research group at SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services department. Researchers investigated the technologies and materials needed to develop the second version of TLink.
“SAIT has taken out the risk out of developing version two of TLink,” says Rucki. “The research they conducted helped us know what we needed to purchase and that it was possible to create what we wanted before we spent money.”
Stephanie Krause, project lead and CIITS senior software developer, says the expertise of her research colleagues and the technical capabilities in their lab enabled her to provide the information TLink needed to move forward.
“We gave recommendations based on the real-world testing we conducted in our lab,” says Krause. “We validated and tested the claims of the products we sourced and also deconstructed their current model. Doing so allowed us to provide TLink with information on how it could improve the existing technology.”
With the information gathered by Krause and other CIITS researchers, TLink is ready to start developing phase two of their product.
“The wearable technology field is very competitive,” Krause explains. “TLink providing users the opportunity to improve their golf swing through sensor data is unique and will help the company remain competitive in this market.”