A Hole in One with OptConnect ema™

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Ace Golf Technologies is dedicated to creating simple and intuitive tools for golf course operators to help increase golfer participation and top-line revenue. They recently launched SmartPin which is an internet connected smart golf flagstick with a 360º camera array that autonomously tracks a golf ball and allows golfers across the country to compete for prizes.

Ace Golf Technologies needed a source of connectivity that would be small enough to embed into the SmartPin, that’s when they met with OptConnect about ema, a fully certified LTE CAT 4 embedded modem that includes our full suite of managed services for increase uptime and reliability.

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About Ace Golf Technologies

The concept behind Ace Golf Technologies began taking shape in 2017 when a group of four friends, connected by golf, established a vision of creating a nationwide golf competition that would include a Hole-In-One Contest as well as a Closest-to-the-Pin Contest. In 2018 they began recruiting the team necessary to make it a reality. That reality is a patent-pending SmartPin, golf's only autonomous flagstick with brains, that communicates all across the country and someday across the world.

SmartPin provides features such as 360° video recording of a player's golf shot while delivering analytics and validation if a hole-in-one is hit. SmartPin has a nationwide progressive jackpot contest similar to the Powerball lottery that grows until a golfer hits a hole-in-one. Golfers can choose to enter to win the contest by playing at participating golf courses around the country that have SmartPin enabled holes on their course.

Their Need

SmartPin has to be able to use its cameras and sensors all while connecting to the SmartPin app. It also has to be able to communicate with other SmartPins across the country. “We needed a connectivity solution for each SmartPin that would be small enough to fit inside the flagstick but powerful enough to keep it up and running on any course,” said Jim Leary, Ace Golf Technologies' Chief Executive Officer.

After hearing about OptConnect ema™ from a lead engineer who owns another company and was already using the product, Ace Golf Technologies partnered with OptConnect in January of 2020.

“Because of OptConnect ema™, the SmartPin will work at any golf course with a par 3 and cell coverage, which makes the SmartPin appealing to public, private and resort courses. Specifically, the dual-carrier functionality has been very helpful for courses to be able to switch between Verizon and AT&T when needed depending on the location.”

Jim Leary

CEO at Ace Golf Technologies

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The Solution

Each SmartPin has an OptConnect ema™ embedded in the pin to deliver data to collect the analytics and record players who enter via the SmartPin app with a shot at a chance to win the nationwide jackpot money.

Without a reliable data connection, and SmartPin wake-up using emaLink the video and sensors for analytics and validation would not function. SmartPin's business model is heavily dependent upon the secure quality connectivity and uptime that OptConnect ema™ provides.

With ema, customers get: 

  • All the monitoring 
  • All the manageability
  • All the emaLink features
  • All the security
  • All the reporting
  • All the certifications
  • All the autonomous self-healing

A Look at OptConnect ema™

In thinking about our customers and the future of IoT, we knew we wanted to create a product that could scale with our customers and save them time, money, and help provide a more reliable embedded connectivity solution than what is currently available in the market. That is why we created OptConnect ema™. It takes all the complexity out of the process so customers can get their product connected to the internet in a few days and for a few hundred dollars versus months and hundreds of thousands of dollars later.

OptConnect ema™ combines a fully certified 4G LTE embedded modem, onboard intelligence, embedded firmware and software, and robust suite of managed services. It features dual carrier SIM card support for carrier-to-carrier failover and all of the low-level software control so customers can just use the modem without having to develop all the software and code to make it work. The creation of OptConnect ema™ allows companies to focus on their core business strengths and outsource one of the biggest stumbling blocks for IoT projects.

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Working with Ace Golf Technologies

Moving to the future, Ace Golf Technologies plans on taking SmartPin global. As they continue to grow, SmartPin will continue to need ema and Summit, our cloud-based customer dashboard to monitor their multiple devices. "Our intention is to use technology to make golf more exciting and in turn drive additional play at our partner facilities," said Leary. "SmartPin's true potential is the ability to connect golfers both near and far and to build a community of golfers."

Sean Horan, Sr. Enterprise Sales Director Embedded Products at OptConnect, says that SmartPin is a unique application that works with ema flawlessly. “SmartPin is such an innovative product that needs an innovative solution for connectivity. OptConnect ema™ has been the perfect fit with its compact size, dual-carrier functionality, and fully managed solution. We are happy to work with Ace Golf Technologies and look forward to expanding our partnership as they continue to grow and scale.”

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“I would recommend OptConnect because the usability and flexibility of the team is unparalleled. We’ve been very pleased with our overall partnership with OptConnect.”

Jim Leary

CEO at Ace Golf Technologies

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IoT Connectivity 

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