The NEVER LOST golf ball has an electronic transmitter built in which communicates with your smart phone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Never worry about losing track of your golf ball again!
But if you change internals of the ball – you change it’s “flying” characteristics, so how does that affect the game?
Is Chip-ing technically possible?
Tracking devices that attach to things have been around for some time, but only recently have they began maturing. As a result, cost of components fallen drastically and size has been reduced, this allows for some clever applications, like golf-ball-with-a-chip.
Small circuit board runs a chip with Bluetooth module+antena and battery supplies power, simple design. All part are available on the market at low prices and manufacturing should be straigh forward process. Given that strategic relationships have been established.
Is ball with Bluetooth transmitter practical?
Lets walk though the process of how one would use it. First you pair the ball with the phone, then show some golf-skills and send it on its way. If it happens to land in some difficult terrain and becomes hard to find – you can track it down with a mobile device. Open the application, select the ball you are looking for and follow direction from there. System does not pinpoint where it is but shows signal strength increasing as you get closer.
Here are some things to consider before you jump onboard:
Price, from campaign page it seems that price per ball is about $17 us dollars, you can count how many regular balls you can buy for the price of this one. Also keep in mind that not every golf ball is recoverable and inevitably you will loose Chip-ing as well.
Flight dynamics – given weight and size of golf ball it is easy tho estimate that flight dynamics will change. Even if two are the same weight, the internal structure with circuit board is different and weight distribution is different. How much of an effect it will have on spin and roll characteristics is something that can only be determined in testing but compared to uniform core ball – there will be a difference.
We think that end user experience has some merit, it is relatively easy to follow. Products core feature also changes dynamic characteristics of the ball – issue that developer does not address. Finally its possible to get 4-5 regular golf balls for the price of Chip-ing and disposable nature of golf balls is sometimes a benefit as you do not get attached to them.
FAQ mentions that there maybe an incision on the surface that will likely have plastic film you often see in electronics devices, you pull the strip activate battery and it will last for one year. Cuts on the surface of the ball raise some concern given stresses involved and may lead to cracks.
Will campaign deliver if funded?
Chip-ing is on indegogo and fully functionally prototype does not exist, but proof of concept devices likely do. Considering additional research needed to perfect and balance internal components to minimize effects on motion dynamics, and making the ball sealed completely – these issues will likely be overlooked altogether.
Delivery timeline is realistic – set for Jun 2016, but cost seems too low to us and this may bring big challenge.
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