Mobicoach Is First, Real-Time, Intuitive, HD Quality, Golf and Fitness Remote Coaching Service
If your golf game or fitness level needs a boost, an expert analytical diagnosis or maintenance, Mobicoach has created the ultimate live, remote coaching solution ready to record video and audio of your captured swing or motion, then deliver personalized instruction over the web by the world’s top Instructors using an iOS app and your iPad. The Sports Techie community blog spoke to Dave Grove, newly promoted to the position of VP Business Development at Mobiplex, in real-time while he used their application at their San Jose office and I streamed video with our iPad and Comcast Internet service. I received a fun and informative demo of their sports technology system that is ready for you to use wherever you are, at whatever time you need, with the golf or fitness coach of your choosing. Mobicoach is touted as the first, mobile-to-mobile (M2M), cloud-based, real-time, intuitive, HD quality remote coaching service.
Golf Sports Tech
I found out about Mobicoach from long-time sports tech contact, Ted Simmons, COO and EVP of Nicklaus Academies, a fellow, former Dartfish employee who hired me to install golf sports tech at the Bear’s Club, the signature Nicklaus golf course. He introduced me to Mobiplex, a leader in mobile sports performance technology, and their COO, Van Krueger, and also to Grove.
“Nicklaus Academies has been at the forefront of innovation in golf instruction technology, and we are delighted to partner with Mobiplex in bringing to market one of the most exciting innovations in golf instruction”, said Simons. “With this solution, we are now able to take the Nicklaus brand of instruction to golfers all over the world. Golfers will have ready access to our world-class instructors from their own backyards which will greatly speed their improvement and enjoyment of the game. Students will be able to work with their own coach, in real-time, regardless of each other’s location.”
The MobiCoach service features top golf coaches from partners Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy and Troon Golf Academy, to the Butch Harmon School of Golf, Jeff Ritter Golf and Bill Harmon. Partners also include, The First Tee and Make The Turn. Company advisors include Mike Malaska, (Worldwide Director of Jack Nicklaus Academies), Tim Mahoney, (Director of Instruction, Troon Golf) and Craig Stadler. Feature sets were developed from what these coaches and others wanted via feedback.
Golf students, amateurs and professionals now have a sports tech product that enables users to receive access to high-quality coaches in real-time for golf instruction on the web from your home, out on the course and at the driving range, via the interactive Mobicoach 2.0.3 platform. It uses live video streaming, drawing tools and golf analysis data, together with a display screen that mirrors the student with the coach, and post session review capabilities, all designed to help you improve performance, fix swing issues and lower your score.
Their mission for golf and fitness is to connect users with live coaches, live tools and self-help tools for competitive and recreational athletes, offering a live interaction with coaches in order to improve their game, handicap and muscle memory.
Use a PC, Mac or tablet to download the free app on iPad and create a free profile at myaccount.mobicoach.com. Search through the bios of the men and women coaching profiles on Mobicoach.com. Thus far there are 15-20 coaches signed up on the website. Grove said, “New coaches are signing up every day. Coaches are reaching out to us.” The management team does a background check on all new coaches and golf schools.
Email and text notifications are sent with the scheduled date and time of your session, easily synched up with Outlook or Gmail client calendars. Use a credit card or PayPal for payment.
The Mobiplex Swing Tip analyzer was invented about 30 months ago and is an Amazon best seller at $99. With the support of the free SwingTIP iOS app, or the optional SwingTIP motion sensor/app, golfers can use this gadget to get an at-a-distance lesson from a coach to improve their game.
Most traditional golf coaching is done in the first 15 minutes which is why they offer lessons in 15 minute chunks of time rather than over an hour. No travel is needed and times are shorter than traditional lessons. This new experience was created to enhance in-person learning sessions and is packed with video analysis, white boards and comparison of left vs. right screens. Grove feels, “Online lessons (no hands on) vs. hands on, is as good or better, than with a live instructor.” The value is a combined effort of an expert instructor with real-time feedback and sports tech tools. He thinks golf in the future will have PGA Tour professionals who have coaches they have never met in person; instead they will use virtual coaches on platforms exactly like Mobicoach as they travel around the country and world on tour.
Play back is frame-by-frame. Each swing is captured in eight second videos. I asked why it filmed so long of a recording. Grove said the length is a failsafe or buffer, allowing users to summarize important mechanics. They can talk about swing plane, intersection points, how you address the ball, the hands, wrists, and body posture, as needed. Video capture can be set up to two minute and accessed by students, because it is stored locally on iPads, white board lines can be added later. I asked about seeing the club face because it was not very clear indoors during replay. Grove stated, “With outdoor lighting you can see a 115 to 120 M.P.H. swing crystal clear.”
Drawing tools include red and yellow lines, straight lines and freehand lines, the option to thicken lines and change colors, and erase. They do not offer a zoom feature or voice recognition yet.
The import feature allows students to upload reference clips and drills from a camera roll or existing video with a swing that slices or hooks by Tiger Woods or Rory McIIroy. Users can rewatch prerecorded video using the white board and no audio, so coaches and students can talk without distractions.
Using the microphone, speaker icon and headset that is Bluetooth enabled, allows for private audio on a driving range. When the session ends, you go back to the back to the home screen where upcoming and previous sessions can be discussed. It is easy to swipe though all videos of a session in order to find the right video example and ask about a certain drive, chip or putt.
MobiCoach – The Future of Remote Coaching Is Here
The Process – search the App store for MobiCoach. Download the MobiCoach app (NOT Mobicoach for Instructors)
- Decide to improve you game and download the free Mobicoach app, then resister and search and for a Mobicoach golf instructor who will use live video instruction and detailed analysis delivered to your iPad2+, iPad mini or iPad Air.
- Get ready for instant feedback, where ever you are, from live video streaming, sophisticated drawing and video analysis tools, display screen mirroring and post session reviews.
- Choose a personalized coaching experience from the Jack Nicklaus Academies, Troon Golf Academy, MakeThe Turn (MTT) and other proven males and female pros who charge reasonably priced 15 minute increment session times.
- Literally, 24-hours a day, simply pick your time and place after selecting from the coaches, rates and availabilities, starting as low as $20 for a 15 minute online lesson, up to $125 from the best.
- Stay consistent with SwingTIP between lessons, a smart device, Bluetooth enabled motion sensor that easily attaches to your club transmitting swing analysis to your iPhone, iPad Touch, iPad or Android mobile devices.
Mobicoach – Live, Remote Coaching
* LIVE VOICE CALL (VOIP) – connects you and an instructor via a live voice call during your session
* LIVE 2-WAY VIDEO STREAMING – enables you and an instructor to observe each other via a live video stream in different display sizes, at all times
* INSTRUCTOR-INITIATED VIDEO CAPTURE – an instructor can remotely record and view a video of whatever technique or drill that they have asked you to perform. They can also capture and share a video of themselves to provide further instruction, including: drills, exercises, workouts, etc.
* DISPLAY MIRRORING – the instructor can control what is displayed on your screen so that you and your instructor are viewing the same thing in lock step for the ultimate user experience
The megabits per second (Mbps), or data transfer rate, is important for smooth video recording and playback. Their proprietary technology adjusts to the call quality, IP and bandwidth giving them a distinct advantage over competitors. Amazing upload and download times are also a critical component to their platforms success.
I was asked by Grove to download the free app called OOKLA Speed Test. Once the app has downloaded, you tap on begin test when you are standing in the same place you will be doing the demo from. The upload and download speeds need to be at least 1Mbps and preferably over 2Mbps for a smooth session. He asked me to let me know what the speeds were when I could. I did not have time to do this but our session worked fine enough to get through with no video or audio problems.
Sports Techie, Mobicoach has patents and trade secrets built into their platform. I wanted to know more about their business model and revenue streams. Grove explained if an instructor charged $100 they get a percentage of the fee. Since this is a free app, Grove considered it pre-revenue, that model could change at some point allowing for the addition of sponsors and advertisers. Grove shared there exit strategy, which is to build a solid business, be on the consumer’s radar, and execute their plans. They may raise funds down the road to meet the demands of growth.
Other verticals they will enter include the health, fitness and wellness Industries, plus other sports. A fitness beta is now operational and is focused on improving techniques, workouts and cardio, strength and conditioning. Beta fitness instructors are being solicited. Golf and fitness are tied in together and managed by Mobiplex, VP Sports and Fitness, Jeff Ritter, the Director of Nike Golf.
They are indeed International with operations in countries such as Guam, Brazil and France, plus other areas of Asia. An Android app will be available in a few another months. Currently there are 4 employees, and a dedicated team in India of 10-12 engineers. The co-founders hail from India.
Competition includes V-1, but Grove commented, “They can take up to 24-72 hour in response time for corrections and to handicap a golfer.” Skype is another, but Grove says, “Their product constantly reminds users of video and audio lags which Mobicoach has figured out.” Other Skype pains include the need for a caddie or friend to use an iPad to record a swing while they use a fixed tripod stand that is easy to set up.
Whether you are a weekend golfer, or take your practice swings in the backyard, basements or office, or if you frequent driving ranges, Mobicoach might be the exact kind of sports tech solution youth, adults and seniors are looking for as an online coach.
Contact Grove and Customer Support at: [email protected].
See y’all later in Seattle and here in Atlanta.
I will see ya when I see ya, THE Sports Techie @THESportsTechie – http://twitter.com/THESportsTechie
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