At the Olympics, golfer Bubba Watson will be walking the course like everyone else. But don't be surprised if someone asks him about his insane jetpack golf cart.
That's because the colorful 37-year-old Floridian has been promoting just such an airborne vehicle in his latest viral video for Oakley sunglasses.
The spot, which has almost 1 million views on YouTube, doubles as an Olympics promo for Oakley. A number of competitors in Rio will be wearing the brand's Prizm shades, which are customized by sport to help athletes see their playing fields more clearly.
"Bubba's Jetpack" will probably remind you of "Bubba's Hover," the hovercraft golf cart that Watson was seen tooling around in three years ago. That's because the hovercraft was also an Oakley creation—made and marketed with help from New York viral marketing agency Thinkmodo, which also made "Bubba's Jetpack" as a sequel.
Thinkmodo prides itself on never using CGI. And indeed, agency co-founder James Percelay tells Adweek that the jetpack video, and the jetpack itself, are 100 percent real. "It actually works. It's incredible," he says.
"They're going to be in production at the end of the year, or the beginning of 2017, for police, fire and military. They're waiting on FAA approval so you and I can commute five minutes in the air to work and land on a rooftop.”
"It can go up to 3,000 feet high. It goes about 45 miles an hour. It can stay aloft for 30 minutes, or go about 19 or 20 miles. It's computer controlled, and super stable—you can actually take your hands off the controls and it will lock in position. It's wild,” he said.
A golf spot is particularly timely, too, given that the sport is returning to the Olympics this year after an absence of 112 years.
Thinkmodo's hovercraft and jetpack projects are both, in a way, just jokes—nobody would actually use these things on a golf course (aside from promotional or fundraising stunts). And yet, they're also intended to position Oakley as a company that's a real technological innovator. Thus, the spots do double duty—as comedy, and as actual brand building.
Iofit Golf Shoes
Samsung's goal with the Internet of Things is to connect literally everything, and apparently one of the first things up is your shoes. A Samsung spinoff company, called Salted Venture, announced a pair of smart golfing shoes and smart fitness sneakers back in February, and now it's preparing to launch the first of them.
The Iofit golf shoes are now available to preorder on Kickstarter, where they're selling for around $200, with plans to begin shipping in February.
The shoes, which need to be synced with a smartphone, are meant to track a golfer's swing and posture and then provide them with immediate feedback. The intention is to quickly inform golfers of what they're doing wrong and how they can improve, without requiring a trainer to follow them around all day.
The measurements are done through pressure sensors inside the Iofit shoes, which are used to detect how the wearer's weight is shifting during a swing.
We got to try out the Iofit shoes earlier this year. And while they sound like a ridiculous concept, our first impression was that they're surprisingly effective. You can read our write-up right here. The fitness sneakers are expected later in 2017.
Tittle X Golf Simulator
From mini-driving ranges to PC-based sims to arcade putters, golf simulators aren’t exactly new, as people have long been using them to fine-tune their games without having to leave the house. The Tittle X, however, just might be the simplest, most economical setup we’ve seen.
Instead of requiring you to install large hardware that take up plenty of room, the system is made up of a club-mounted hardware and an accompanying software. That’s it. You don’t even have to hit a real ball like other simulators – just swing the club to take your imaginary shot and watch the result on your PC.
Tittle X consists of a small device with a display strip in front, two cradles, and the e6Cloud golf simulator software. To set up, install one cradle on your putter and another on your main club, putting them right where the handle grip meets the shaft.
You can then switch mounting the device between the main club and the putter, depending on which one you’re currently using.
You’ll also need to install the software on your PC and download the accompanying smartphone app (iOS and Android), with both the PC and mobile software running whenever you’re playing.
During play, the device tracks your head speed, swing type, swing path, and other metrics, then uses it to approximate where the ball will go. All the results will be rendered in real time for your viewing pleasure on the PC software.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Tittle X. Pledges to reserve a unit start at $69.
The Bat Caddy
Bat-Caddy offers a variety of motorized electric golf bag caddies for the golf enthusiast who likes to walk the course. Utilizing a powered golf caddy has many benefits to those who prefer to play the game like it was meant to be - Walking.
You can save your energy for the game rather than physically having to push, pull or carry a golf bag all around the course for the day, especially in hilly or challenging environments.
Bat-Caddy offers electric golf caddies at multiple price points for every budget and based on the golf caddy features and performance. All models are available with either a standard sealed lead acid (Gel or AGM) or superlight advanced lithium battery.
Bat-Caddy carts, electrical components and accessories also have the necessary government agency certifications. Find out more by clicking on our product pages and links that give full details and specification for each golf caddy model.