| CASE STUDY: Full Swing Launch Monitor

Building a UI/UX-Focus IoT Device

Learn how Systematic Consulting Group created Full Swing’s award-winning KIT Launch Monitor.

Full Swing Golf Launch Monitor
Full Swing Golf

Full Swing Golf had the vision to create a Launch Monitor that would disrupt the industry.

Firmware Development, App Development, Machine Learning, Cloud Architecture

Project Timeline
8.5 months to MVP
18 months to MMP

Tech Stack
Embedded Linux, QT Framework, C/C++, Swift, AWS IoT Core, Amazon SageMaker

Tiger’s Challenge

Tiger Woods challenged Full Swing Golf to create a launch monitor that would disrupt the market along every axis. Full Swing turned to Systematic Consulting Group to make it happen.

Full Swing proposed a launch monitor marrying military-grade radar tracking tech with state-of-the-art machine learning and computer vision algorithms in a user-friendly package. This kind of accuracy was typically only found in products costing upwards of $20,000, but Full Swing was committed to delivering KIT at a disruptively affordable price point.

KIT would need an innovative on-device UI, rock solid mobile connectivity, and an all-around premium user experience. Systematic Consulting Group leveraged their multi-disciplinary expertise to deliver just that.

Read on to find out how.

Full Swing Golf Mobile App Dispersion Shot with Smart Watch

The Full Swing KIT is a launch monitor that shatters our preconceptions about how much launch monitor we can get for our money. This device provides every metric you could want at roughly 1/5 the cost of the established names. And the accuracy is good enough for Tiger Woods, so it’s more than good enough for you.

Plugged In Golf

Systematic’s Process
Kickoff – Understanding Full Swing’s Vision

The project kicked off with an in person meeting with the stakeholders to understand their vision for KIT. Full Swing was committed to making KIT the most technologically advanced and the most user-friendly launch monitor on the market at a disruptively competitive price point. We refined this vision together using concept sketches of the on-device UI and app, and sequence diagrams showing how they would work together in practice.

Systematic was ultimately tasked with designing and building the software and hardware that would make KIT’s seamless user experience possible. This critical system would control and interpret data from the bespoke radar tracking technology, connect KIT to the cloud, link with the user’s smart devices, and host the on-device UI.

In short, Systematic would be building KIT’s brain.

The Full Swing KIT is the most user-friendly launch monitor I have ever used. Not even close. I purposely don’t read the instructions to see how user-friendly each launch monitor is and I figured it out within minutes.

My Golf Spy

Discovery – Identifying Key Technologies and Strategies

Discovery began with empathy mapping and a competitive analysis. Nearly all of KIT’s competitors required a secondary device like a PC or tablet. Connecting to that device was frustratingly clunky, and frequently ended in a call with tech support. It was decided that KIT would have a UI baked right into the device, and that connecting to user devices should be dead simple. Systematic proposed a hybrid connectivity strategy: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) pairs KIT to a user device with one click, and then the app negotiates a higher-speed Wi-Fi connection.

To continuously improve KIT’s tracking models, the launch monitor needed to collect real-world data, push it to the cloud, and update its machine learning algorithms in-situ. KIT also needed to receive secure and traceable over-the-air (OTA) updates. Systematic architected and implemented an end-to-end encrypted backend on Amazon Web Services (AWS). KIT also needed regular access to the internet, but separate hardware wasn’t in the budget, so Systematic identified a strategy to reuse the existing pairing hardware and software for this purpose.

The company saw an opportunity for a UI/UX-focused product at a price point far lower than competitor offerings. It was important for the device to be compact, intuitive, easy to use, and for it to look like a high-tech product — and one that didn’t rely on a secondary device.

Ryan Dotters
CEO, Full Swing – FullSwingGolf.com

User Story and Requirement Definition

Just a few weeks after kickoff, we began story mapping and requirement definition across all of our technical areas including hardware, software, app dev, and the cloud. Since the on-device UI was completely new and somewhat unique, we created a rapid prototype for very early-stage user testing and concept validation. Using the cross-platform Qt Framework allowed us to reuse parts of these prototype UIs for the final device UI.

With our user stories defined we determined the minimum feature set and hardware requirements that could be considered a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. With that MVP in our crosshairs, we planned agile sprints to coordinate our hardware, software, app, and cloud development teams.

Our testing has demonstrated the accuracy of the numbers and the reliability of the technology – at no point did it miss a shot and every subtle change in distance and direction was reflected in the data. But it is the app experience that really sets this package apart.

Golf Monthly

Minimum Viable Product

An MVP is a key step in Systematic’s process, and it was key to KIT’s success. KIT’s MVP could talk to the other hardware in the system and communicate with an engineering app and the cloud. This exercised all of Systematic’s interfaces to other teams and services, allowing us to identify issues and unforeseen coordination points immediately.

To make sure the team was not waiting on us, we prioritized creating hardware prototypes as fast as possible. We created an embedded Linux image for the KIT’s hardware using Yocto, started software development on a Raspberry Pi, put our Qt UI in front of testers and expanded its functionality, and started a prototype iOS app with rudimentary device connectivity. Once our hardware prototypes were ready and the rest of the project was unblocked, we filled in the details like configuring Linux, migrating the UI to the device, and implementing the connectivity details.

In a matter of months, we went from concept sketches to a working custom embedded hardware solution running a custom Linux image and custom software. Having working devices in hand allowed the client to get a head start getting critical feedback from stakeholders to define the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP).

After three years of development and being told the sub-$5,000 price wasn’t achievable with the data and display features the team wanted, Full Swing finally arrived at the KIT launch monitor — and the KIT launch monitor arrived on Tiger Woods’ Instagram.

Golf WRX

Minimum Marketable Product

Armed with feedback from real user interactions with both the device and the app, and insights from the other development teams, we started work on the MMP. We took the MVP and made it faster, more user friendly, and more fault tolerant while adding features that had been identified by the stakeholders and early adopters as “must haves”. We also future-proofed KIT, making it updateable, allowing us to move fast with the MMP and refine details later.

Huge improvements to the MVP were made in this stage. The on-device TFT display was upgraded to an OLED to make it easier to see in direct sunlight. Systematic implemented a dashboard to monitor device metrics in near real-time, facilitating preventative maintenance. Systematic enhanced the machine learning and computer vision software, and updated the camera hardware to support 4K resolution.

We continuously worked with other teams during this phase including the app team who was building out a responsive and native iOS application in parallel with our hardware and firmware efforts.

Once the MMP was acceptable to the stakeholders and receiving positive marks form early adopters we worked with the manufacturer to make sure it could be built at scale with stringent quality control.

We also continued to work with the app team to make sure the app store launch in conjunction with the product launch would be a success.

Full Swing Live Mobile App with Smart Watch

The Results

Systematic Consulting Group made Full Swing’s vision and Tiger’s dream a reality.

When you want to use KIT, you just turn it on. Click a button in the app and you’re connected and ready to start hitting. No plugging in cables. No waiting. No reading instructions, and definitely no calling support. Behind the scenes KIT continuously improves by downloading and applying software updates and uploading field data to improve its algorithms.

KIT has received rave reviews. In particular the on-device UI, app, and the app-to-device connectivity experience are smash hits: Exactly the features Systematic Consulting Group was responsible for.

Based on Systematic’s success with KIT, Full Swing entrusted us with KIT’s entire lifecycle. Systematic pushes out KIT’s updates, supports its app, and continues to build out the IoT cloud platform that makes KIT possible.

What launch monitor does Tiger Woods use on the range? Specifically, Woods trusts the Full Swing KIT.