Karl Engstrom, CEO of Terra Imaging explains, “This is an exciting step for mobile golf GPS technology, iCaddy represents the spirit and vision of Google Glass and wearable AR device technology developed specifically for golf. We are currently involved in the rigorous development and integration our existing 3D CartPro and 3D MobilePro architectures.
Moreover, by implementing our existing codebase built specifically for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile, we are “fast tracking” the development and leveraging our existing geo-database of 3D imagery and 3D terrain data, allowing us to bring the first courses online fairly quickly. These first courses include Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Spanish Bay, The Olympic Club, San Francisco Golf Club, TPC Harding, Presidio and our home course, Torrey Pines. This initial course release will represent the pinnacle of AR—3D (Augmented Reality) functionality for iCaddy. Our global rollout will depend on features and feedback from our “beta” launch. We are very excited about this next stage.”
David Grieshaber, founder and CEO of iCaddy, details the merger, “We are excited about this merger, our vision and philosophies are in parallel with Terra Imaging. Furthermore we are committed to the evolution of mobile golf technology. iCaddy is certainly the beginning of the Google Glass and Wearable AR revolution for golf.”
Engstrom continues to explain the methodologies of this merger, “From a technology standpoint, 3D photogrammetric and 3D topographic mapping data are the foundations of 3D Golf Course. Accurately mapping a golf course in 3D is our patented technology. We are focused on various implementations of 3D imagery and XYZ topographic data for our CartPro, MobilePro and iCaddy—Goggle Glass and wearable AR systems. Combined with Terra Imaging’s 3D mapping and 3D MobilePro technology, the iCaddy experience provides a clean and simple interface. The optimized UI within iCaddy provides the golfer with precise and accurate data to include Front/Center/Back/Hazard distances, and weather data such as temperature, wind vectors and humidity. We want to provide the golfer with the simple and clean user experience, essentially, the foundation of iCaddy and all Google Glass and Wearable AR implementations.”
Terra Imaging, in partnership with Microsoft Bing Maps, collects high-resolution, airborne, stereo imagery of each golf course using the Microsoft UltraCam, a million dollar plane mounted digital camera system. This photogrammetric mapping process allows Terra Imaging to collect 1” imagery and produce approximately 300-500 million 3D XYZ points per golf course.
Ed Gambler, Senior VP of 3D Engineering explains: “Our detailed 3D mapping process is our core foundation and mantra. Over a decade ago we used airborne imagery and 3D topographic data to build flight simulators and combat training simulators. Now we are using the same methodologies for our 3D Golf Course product line. Our combined imagery and 3D topographic data sets are in the terabytes now. These large high value datasets are perfect for advanced visualization, GPS, golf simulation and gaming systems.”
Engstrom explains, “Our ground mapping technologies are fairly impressive as well. Working with Leica Geosystems, we are able to test the latest terrestrial LiDAR scanners and ground-based GPS systems. During our mapping projects at TPC Sawgrass and Torrey Pines we collected 7-8 million 3D, XYZ points on greens alone. Awesome resolution! Additionally, with every airborne imagery collection using the Microsoft UltraCam, we implement a Leica GPS base station as ground control. Using a GPS base station, combined with the airborne GPS/IMU data in the plane, allows us to produce mapping data with very high horizontal and vertical mapping accuracies in the range of 2 cm horizontal and 5 cm vertical—hyper-accurate data.”
Moving forward with technology, Terra Imaging is combining the AR technologies of 3D MobilePro into the next stage of social, golf GPS engineering. Engstrom explains: “Imagine sharing your on-the-course golfing experience with someone in a golf simulator in Europe or Asia. We are working closely with Full Swing Simulators to build the required geospatial, bridge between “real world” golf and gaming/simulation, iCaddy is the perfect solution for sharing a “real time” golfing experience.”
So what does this all mean? Watch out, iCaddy is coming soon. Combined with cutting edge 3D mapping and mobile technologies, the golfer will see a whole new perspective of distance, strategy and play that will ultimately lower the golfer handicap and score.
iCaddy has a launch date scheduled for early December, interested parties should sign up for the release at: http://www.icaddy.com