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This technology (APL device) will change how we golf, forever - Ambiq
November 26, 2020
In this post-pandemic era, it’s harder to play sports and do physical exercise. Outdoor activities are limited, many gyms are closed, and social distancing, guidelines remain in place. As a result, more people are turning to sports where they can maintain a safe distance, such as golf.
Golf, however, isn’t as easy to play as it may look, especially if you’re inexperienced on the course. Even if you have a decent swing, you may have trouble tracking your ball flying through the air. And what about tracking the location of the pin on each hole? That’s no cakewalk either, especially if trees are blocking your sight-line. Luckily, there is a game-changing technology making its way to your favorite golf course.
Voice Caddie’s New Virtual Caddie
In April this year, a golf technology company known as VC Inc. launched a new service that could change the way we play on the course forever. Known as Auto Pin Location (APL), this service enables golfers to track the location of hole cups accurately using their smartphone and GPS golf watch (Voice Caddie T7™) and Hybrid GPS-Laser Rangefinder (Voice Caddie SL2™).
The APL device sits mounted on each pin flag, and it transmits very accurate hole cup location data using 5G networks (LTE-M). The Voice Caddie user receives this location transmission on their GPS golf watch, which then pairs with their smartphone.
GPS golf watches aren’t new. However, previous GPS watches only showed the “center” of the green, which only gave the user an estimate of their target. Now, golfers can know the exact location of the hole cup with an accuracy margin of 2 meters.
A Better Golf Experience
Tiger Woods probably doesn’t need this technology, but APL is a game-changer for amateurs and weekend warriors. Knowing the exact location of the hole enables you to play more efficiently and enjoy a smoother experience knowing exactly where you should aim. Golf courses can benefit from APL as well, since golfers who have more enjoyable playing experiences are more likely to return for more strokes.
You’ll probably see APL-enabled holes at golf courses around you soon. This technology is making waves in South Korea, where there are about 500 golf courses. With 18 holes on each course, that’s 9,000 holes that could be equipped with APL technology.
What Enables APL?
So how does this work? In technical terms, the APL device is made up of four components—the LTE-M modem, the High Precision GNSS (GPS) module, the supercapacitor (battery), and a microcontroller (MCU).
The microcontroller must be energy efficient, as it would be quite a hassle to individually replace the battery in each APL unit. Here’s where Ambiq’s ultra-low-power solutions came in handy. Ambiq’s Apollo 3 Blue MCU enables ultra-low power consumption against managing the modem and GPS module together. The result is a long-lasting battery life that enables the APL device to create a better golfing experience for everyone. So even if you’re not into golf, it’s a perfect time to start because we’re changing the game.