The world of technology won’t stop surprising us with its innovativeness and uses. In this blog post, we would like to get you aquatinted with a unique sports software solution on the modern market that has no direct competitors and considered to be better a lot than other similar apps.
We are talking about a personal pocket golf trainer CTRL Golf whose Android version and UI design was created by GBKSOFT.
Our client, Ian Cash, and his team succeeded to create and implement bio-kinetic technology to learn people playing golf despite their age and level of skill. The solution has a package of hardware that consists of a bio-kinetic sleeve and two sensors that connect to the mobile app via Bluetooth. Thanks to this hardware package and unique algorithm developed by the CTRL Golf team, the sleeve tracks your swings, analyzes them, and provides you with individual recommendations on how to improve your playing skill.
We succeeded to have an interview with our client Ian Cash who actually came up with this innovation and managed to develop it into a fantastic solution together with GBKSOFT. Keep reading to find out the fascinating details of pre-development and development processes.
A: Tell us about yourself. What did you do before the project creation, and what do you do now?
I: Before the product started, I had just started my first company just right after I came out of college. Shortly we have found investors and started building iOS implementation. We realized pretty quickly that it was a big job so that is why we came across the GBKSOFT development team. Our lives have changed a lot as we were students who had just graduated and who tried to learn how to build our own app and we managed to do it with GBKSOFT.
A: How did you come up with the idea for the app? Why did you choose golf?
I: Originally, we created the technology that tracked the arms based on VR tech. Our university professor helped us to develop this idea and turn it into business. Our credo was “Don’t force your technology onto the market. Find the market that needs your technology.” So we were interviewing many people from different areas like weightlifting, basketball, baseball whether this technology would be useful for them. When we were talking with golf players, we understood that that’s where our technology belongs to make this heavy and expensive sport affordable for more people.
A: What are the further steps of the development of your bio-kinetic technology?
I: Golf is just a first step and where we are proving the technology. After this kind of experiment, we are going to move fast to other kinds of sport in a year or two from now. We are thinking about baseball, basketball, and a lot of others.
A: Have you researched similar apps? Have you been inspired by the work of your competitors or this app is unique on the market?
I: We’ve done a lot of research into not our direct competitors but other people in the space. We knew that what we were offering was a lot better. And we knew it is mostly unique because our technology actually adapts to you (personally). Our advantage is that our solution shows how you should swing, how you should play your game, how you can do best instead of general unclear information.
A: Have you tested the idea on your friends and family? What helped you decide to start the development?
I: We’ve definitely done a lot of internal testing. And we are also going to test 30 units to a bunch of beta testers and coaches within the next month. Simplicity is the main option that mattered to us to make it clear for different people. The second thing that really mattered is to make the user experience as seamless and fast as it could be.
A: What were you afraid of when entering the market? What risks were taken into account?
I: There’s always gonna be a lot of worries and a lot of nervousness. But we are really happy with how we perform so far. We were asking ourselves “Do people want to buy more sensors? Do they want to wear sensors while they`re golfing? Did we identify the best way to get them better at playing golf?”. We knew that we should try and mitigate every risk by asking people all the questions we worried about.
A: What difficulties did you encounter during development? Did you manage to solve them?
I: So the first difficulty was Bluetooth and IoT communicating with sensors as we wanted to be sure it is reliable because we had no experience with interacting with Bluetooth technology. We are happy we successfully persisted through this. There have been many challenges but we knew we would solve all of them so we did.
A: Was it easy to work with the team?
I: It was super easy to work with the team. It was just a fantastic experience all around, I can’t say enough about it.
A: How often did you communicate with the team?
I: We communicated on Slack. That was great as we also use Slack. The communication was immediate even with the major time difference between us. I guess we met over video call once a week, and Slack communication was incredible as sometimes I got answers like at 3 am ( for your time zone). The GBKSOFT team was never behind on the planning and was always ahead of us.
A: How did you choose the team and how did you find GBKSOFT?
I: I found your team through Google, no surprise there 🙂 We also talked to several other software development teams, some of which were recommended by my friends. We decided to go with GBKSOFT by two things: super dissimilar portfolio projects and how you projected out the budget as it was super important for us to understand exactly where the money was going.
A: Did you change or add something to the project during development?
I: It was a super easy process too. We not only needed to build an Android app but to redesign the UI part as it was not very good-looking. Changes happen all the time but it was easy to talk about those and bring those up and reprioritize with the team. I really liked the team planning way in advance.
A: Has CTRL Golf already been completely launched?
I: Yes and no. Last November we went for sales for 30 days and sold 500+ which was double our goal. We haven’t launched completely yet as the global chip shortage hit and we haven’t been able to build our sensors. So we’re still working on delivery.
A: How are you promoting your project?
I: For now, we are just staying quiet and improving the app. Promoting doesn’t make sense if you are not able to get your product.
A: How did you sponsor the development?
I: It’s all through investment from different sources and that held us and kept us going through the startup. Finding investment is not easy and it is an exciting time when it happens.
A: Are you satisfied with the finished project, and do you plan to develop it in the future?
I: I am absolutely satisfied. We are already developing on it. We’ve been improving iOS and Android by using the app internally during this delay. We also tested it on some backers to hear their feedback.
A: What do you remember about working with the GBKSOFT team most?
I: First and foremost is working with Alexandra. I don’t know if she ever sleeps 🙂 She does so much work and she got done with all of our planning. I’ve never dealt with a project manager like that as she has been on top of all. Beyond that, working with Lily in the UI design was memorable. We had ridiculous requests but she immediately took our ideas and came back with stuff that looked super cool. I would also mark working with Valeria as she was on the phone anytime I needed to solve my problems.