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Below is our recent interview with John Giatropoulos, the Founder & CEO of Swingbot:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Swingbot?
A: Swingbot is artificial intelligence software whose mission is to help golfers improve their swing using something called golf swing analysis.
A golfer can record and upload their golf swing using the Swingbot app, and our servers will process the swing video automatically, analyzing 108 points in all 8 positions of the golf swing and returning not only the results, but custom videos with narration and line annotations to explain what was detected, good and bad. All of this is completed without the need for any human intervention.
There is currently a Swingbot iOS and Android app available for download including a free one week trial for unlimited swing analysis.
Q: Can you give us insights into your features?
A: Swingbot is straightforward in its mission and feature set. We set out to analyze golf swing videos. That’s all the app does, and that is very intentional.
At first we had a ton of features like adding notes, connecting with friends etc, but stepped back and realized that our main feature, a golf lesson, should be the shining star.
For this reason we remain laser focused on the technology to do just that, analyze the golf swing.
Once you download the app you can record and upload your golf swing, view your uploaded videos, view your completed analysis results for each video, and also access what we call a “library” of all the custom analysis videos that were generated by Swingbot to help you improve.
Basically we wanted to be the “go to” for getting a golf lesson from anywhere at anytime from a mobile device. If you record your swing on the first tee, your lesson will more than likely be finished before you reach the second tee. It’s super fast.
Q: How exactly does your technology work? Can you walk us through the process?
A: The process took 8 years to finish, and I use the term “finish” lightly. Technology is constantly changing. In the last 2 years we rewrote the entire service layer to utilize micro services and serverless technology. That is one example of constantly keeping up with trends and the latest technology.
The user never sees this, but there are over 45 steps in the analysis process.
The server first prepares the uploaded video for processing through the artificial intelligence engine. Once prepared, the body points and swing positions are then detected in each frame using machine learning algorithms and other proprietary techniques. Our servers then crunch that data through even more analysis engines that parse the data and generate meaningful conclusions about the golfer’s swing.
Once the server has analyzed the data and “knows” what issues the golfer has with their swing, we can put together drill videos, text summaries, line drawings, and custom videos for each and every item we analyze.
For example, if Swingbot has detected you have a poor shoulder turn, we will explain what shoulder turn is, what is expected in a proper golf swing for the shoulder turn, show you the frame in your video where the detection occurred, and draw lines showing you what is wrong with your shoulder turn.
A custom video is also generated that you can watch that includes narration and line annotations further explaining the issue detected. The custom video uses the frames from the uploaded video so basically you are watching an instructional video featuring your own swing. It’s pretty cool.
I have fooled more than one person with the custom videos, and also some top golf company CEO’s. They wonder what my technology does when they see the videos because they think “it’s just a golf instructor analyzing a video”. They are right, except it was generated by a computer.
I guess you could say we passed the Turing test for golf instruction.
Q: What are some of the specific use cases or scenarios you can share on how consumers can leverage your app?
A: If a user has any interest in learning how to swing a golf club, I encourage them to download the app. I am offering a free one week trial that unlocks all the app features, so they can receive free golf swing analysis anytime during their free trial.
Many of our users upload several videos at one session on the driving range, while others upload one video twice a year. The cool thing is you now have the ability to get a golf lesson whenever you want, day or night, with no appointments, and for a much lower cost.
I know this is a huge technological leap for some golfer’s, but it’s definitely real, and definitely has helped tons of golfer’s around the world.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I’ve been approached by several golf companies regarding licensing for use in their golf apps, and I’m open to the idea. I have also been contacted about acquisition several times from various golf companies, and with the right partner I think Swingbot could really gain a foothold in the golf community.
The mission is to help as many people as possible have more fun playing golf. If Swingbot can make that happen and grow the game of golf, I’m all for it.
But that’s just golf. What’s next? Baseball? Tennis? Who knows what the future holds.
I’m just having a blast knowing that I’ve made more people understand and realize that a paradigm shift in instruction through motion analysis is not a futuristic concept and that is is happening now with Swingbot.