context & project overview
The goal of this project is to develop a site-specific technology based proposal for Tunxis Country Club in Farmington, CT, to rejuvenates the golf experience and attracts new audiences to their clubs through a series of internet-connected technologies.
Our team focused on the “on-course experience” as the problem space. After researching and interviewing stakeholders, we identified the most critical pain point for the management end as the pace of play. Tunxis currently has no access to the location information of golf carts and players on the course course, thus has almost no knowledge or control over the time that groups spend on the court. As Tunxis possess such an enormous piece of land and multiple courses, optimizing the schedule to fit the most groups of players, and ensuring they all get frictionless experience is crucial for the revenue, as well as gaining loyal customers.
CASE STUDIES & DATA FLOW ANALYSIS
As we dive deeper to examine examples of improving experience with technology in a large physical space, we looked at Disney and Vail Resorts who really define and map out the connection between objects and actors and provide a simple connected infrastructure that augment the customer experience. We also researched different technologies such as RFID, GPS tracking, BLE and other options that are low-cost but yield high potential in providing valuable insights about customer behaviors.
The four main components of our ecosystem are the RFID-enabled wristband, given to every golfer at the pro shop before they enter the course; the GPS transmitter module mounted on every golf cart that constantly broadcast location information; the cloud-based server and database that stores all the data coming in from the course; and the management dashboard that aggregates and displays all collected data and allows the administration to take actions, understand traffic, and make further optimizations to improve quality of play and drive up revenue.
During the check-in process in the pro-shop, players get RFID wristband. As soon as the players’ wristband get paired up with the golf cart, management can start to monitor the location of the cart. When the players put their golf ball down, the RFID reader embedded in the tee area automatically scans the wristband. Therefore, management can start to monitor the pace of play for individual players. When players finish every hole, they can pick up their ball, and the wristband automatically gets scanned by the reader in the last hole. By doing so, management would be able to get accurate data for the pace of play. For slow players, management can reference the data and send a notification to nudge players to play little faster.
The beauty of the ecosystem lies in the integration of simple, low-cost, low-power technology that gives us access to very rich, high-fidelity information and data, as well as the fact that it exists almost completely in the background and maintains the integrity of the on-course experience for the golfers.
We propose the simple, intuitive Customer relationship management(CRM) dashboard to effectively manage the customer as well as the core businesses.
Management can grasp the pace of play in each hole to provide better on-course experience. With RFID wristbands and GPS enabled Golf carts, the team can now view the time that players are spending in each hole in real-time and manage the staff more efficiently. If they want to see the information in detail, they can click the line and it will show the pace of play by each cart.
The system estimates the prospective customers by number of appointments and help management to plan and organize the appropriate service ahead. Further information regarding the traffic can be found in analytics section, which provides overall analytics for sales and revenue. For each event and service, management can have a holistic view by recent activities feature, which provides the real-time updates on how other teams such as restaurant or maintenance team are keeping up with their tasks.
During the final demonstration, the ecosystem was set in small-scale and focused on how seamless the wristband is when golfers play the game. Our team demonstrated the core components of the system, which include RFID wristbands, an RFID reader mounted to the tee area and connected to a Raspberry Pi, a model golf cart with GPS module, and realtime server data stream that shows the timestamp of both the golf cart and the player. Based on the feedback of three participants during the live demo, including classmates and the manager of Tunxis, they were not disturbed by wearing the RFID wristband and the interactions that trigger the timestamp appeared natural.