A WEAR­ABLE FU­TURE

A new wave of mo­bile tech­nol­ogy has de­signs for golf.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents 2/ 15 - Kerr-Di­neen By Luke

DID YOU KNOW

there’s a head­band that can mon­i­tor your stress lev­els as you play? Or a sen­sor for your glove that can record swing path and tempo? Or a tiny com­puter for your grip that can track shots and dis­tance? Th­ese are just a few ex­am­ples of how golf is ben­e­fit­ing from the re­cent ex­plo­sion in wear­able tech­nol­ogy – a snazzy term for any com­puter or elec­tronic de­vice that you can op­er­ate and wear at the same time. A tide of new gad­gets has started flow­ing into golf. To help you cut through the clut­ter, we present 15 of our favourites here.

1 GoPro $500 / Hero4 gopro.com Black

Noth­ing has pop­u­larised the idea of wear­able tech more than the GoPro cam­era. The light­weight, durable cam­era fits in the palm of your hand, has avail­able chest or head mounts and records video at 120 frames per sec­ond at 4K res­o­lu­tion. In other words, it’s per­fect for swing se­quences and doc­u­ment­ing a round.

2 Game Golf / $200 / gamegolf.com

Game Golf has small sen­sors that plug into the end of your grips. Another sen­sor on your belt records data from your round that you can later chart on your com­puter. Pres­i­dent Obama was spot­ted us­ing Game Golf dur­ing his va­ca­tion at Martha’s Vine­yard in Au­gust last year.

3 Swing­byte / $170 / swing­byte.com

The ad­van­tage of at­tach­ing a mea­sur­ing de­vice to your club, rather than to your body, is that it mea­sures more ac­cu­rately what’s hap­pen­ing to your equip­ment as you swing. Swing­byte syncs to your iPhone, iPad or An­droid de­vice via Blue­tooth and al­lows you to an­a­lyse your data through an app on your phone.

4 Zepp / $150 / zepp.com

This poker-chip-size glove sen­sor and cor­re­spond­ing smart­phone app were picked by Ap­ple to go on sale in its stores world­wide. Zepp tracks your swing’s path, length, speed and tempo, among other things. If a cer­tain po­si­tion isn’t op­ti­mal, the num­ber will ap­pear on your screen in red, and Zepp will guide you into the proper po­si­tion, which then ap­pears in green.

5 K-Trainer / $995 / k-vest­store.com

Some of the world’s best play­ers and in­struc­tors use the K-Vest (start­ing at $6 000). With sen­sors at the top and bot­tom of the spine and on the lead wrist, K-Vest tracks the amount of sep­a­ra­tion be­tween your shoul­ders and hips on the back­swing. The less-ex­pen­sive K-Trainer has a $99 monthly sub­scrip­tion fee and fea­tures just the back and hip sen­sors.

6 Arccos / $400 / ar­c­cos­golf.com

Arccos sen­sors plug into the end of your grips and track ev­ery shot and dis­tance us­ing GPS and Blue­tooth tech­nol­ogy. You can then view the data in real time through an app on your iPhone.

7 Lumo Lift / $100 lu­mo­bodytech.com

All in­struc­tors agree that good pos­ture is an es­sen­tial part of a good golf swing. Lumo wants to pre­vent back pain – on and off the course – by mon­i­tor­ing your pos­ture and the amount of stress you put on your back through other ac­tiv­i­ties, like run­ning or work­ing out. If you start to slouch, Lumo will re­mind you to stand up straight by gen­tly vi­brat­ing.

8 SkyPro / $200 golf­skypro.com

The SkyPro at­taches to the shaft of your club and reg­is­ters any move­ment the club makes (full swing, chip or putt) and trans­mits it to your phone through an app so you can view your swing change in 3-D as you progress. Ping has re­cently started us­ing SkyPro in its club­fit­ting process be­cause it can track things like shaft lean and club ro­ta­tion.

“IF MUSE DE­TECTS A RISE IN YOUR STRESS LEVEL, IT’LL NO­TIFY YOU VIA AN APP ON YOUR PHONE.

9 Bose Quiet $300 Com­fort/ bose.com20

You might have spot­ted Rory McIlroy us­ing th­ese re­cently. The large noise-can­celling head­phones that Bose be­came known for shun out­side sounds by first mut­ing and then cov­er­ing the un­wanted sound waves. Bose has adapted that tech­nol­ogy to this eas­ily por­ta­ble, more-dis­creet de­sign.

10 Muse / $300 choose­muse.com

In case you haven’t no­ticed, golf is stress­ful some­times. To keep you in your most ra­tio­nal state, Muse has de­vel­oped a head­band that tracks your brain­waves. If it starts to no­tice a rise in your stress lev­els, the in­for­ma­tion is trans­mit­ted to an app on your phone.

11 Fit­bit Flex / $100 / fit­bit.com/flex

A study found that a per­son who av­er­ages six hours of sleep a night over the course of two weeks, rather than eight hours, per­forms cog­ni­tive tasks at the same level as some­one who’s legally drunk. Sleep­ing more might lead to bet­ter golf, too. With Fit­bit you can track, among other things, how much sleep you get.

12 Jaw­bone UP24 / $130 / jaw­bone.com/up

Aside from track­ing sleep and move­ment, Jaw­bone can mon­i­tor your diet. All you have to do is in­put into your phone (via an app) what you’re eat­ing, and Jaw­bone will as­sign a value de­pend­ing on how healthy it is.

13 Garmin Ap­proach S6 / $400 / buy.garmin.com

It won’t carry your bag for you (not yet, any­way), but this GPS watch does most of the cad­die’s other jobs. Its colour screen points out the hole’s var­i­ous haz­ards, and it pro­vides dis­tances from wher­ever you are on the course.

14 Sam­sung Gear 2 / $300 / sam­sung.com

The Sam­sung Gear 2 is es­sen­tially a smart­phone in the form of a wrist­watch. You can an­swer calls on it, take pic­tures, track your fit­ness ac­tiv­ity, play mu­sic and even use it as your TV’s re­mote con­trol. The bad news: It makes the “I wasn’t near my phone be­cause I was on the golf course” ex­cuse less be­liev­able.

15 Ap­ple Watch / $350 / ap­ple.com

Ap­ple launched its long-awaited watch in Septem­ber and will make it avail­able to con­sumers in early 2015. It’s es­sen­tially ev­ery­thing you like best about your iPhone but in a wrist­watch. It tracks how much you move, you can down­load apps onto it, and its touch­screen makes it easy to dis­creetly email, text or tweet from the course. Heck, it can even tell you the time.

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