I got my Swingbyte 2! Now what do I do?


You are four short steps away from recording swings on Swingbyte!


1) DOWNLOAD: Download the free Swingbyte app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.  The app also contains a brief walkthrough for getting started with Swingbyte.

2) BLUETOOTH: Hold down the power button on your Swingbyte 2. The yellow light (power indicator) will flash about 5 times and then stay solid. The orange light (Bluetooth indicator) will flash a few times and then turn off. (View this on YouTube )

For Android Users:
Turn on Bluetooth on your phone under Settings > Wireless and Networks > Bluetooth. In your Bluetooth settings, select Swingbyte to pair with your phone or tablet. The orange LED light on Swingbyte will not yet turn on— that will illuminate once “+Add Swings” has been pressed in the Swingbyte app.

For Apple Users:

Turn on Bluetooth on your phone under Settings > Bluetooth.  In your Bluetooth settings, select Swingbyte to pair with your phone or tablet. The orange LED light will illuminate once you’re paired.

3) ATTACH: Attach Swingbyte to the club of your choice.  Swingbyte should be attached to the club shaft just below the grip, with the white alignment guide parallel to the leading edge of your club

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4) RECORD: Open the app and register for an account. Enter your age, height, weight, gender, and handicap to help Swingbyte more accurately display your data .

Customize your golf bag— choose your brand, club type, and size. Input the length, loft, lie, and flex of your club to get the most accurate data for every swing. (Want to get started right away? Use the default clubs in the bag).

Connect in the App

For Android Users: In the left corner of the screen, hit “+ Add Swing,” then select “use current club” and you’re ready to start recording your swings! (Remember, Swingbyte needs a point of contact to capture your swings).

For Apple Users: After you have a club selected, the app will automatically connect. Once the Swingbyte icon in the top left corner is green, you’re ready to start recording your swings! (Remember, Swingbyte needs a point of contact to capture your swings).

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For more info, visit us at support.swingbyte.com

A note to our Android users


A note to our Android users:

I wanted to explain why the Android update has taken us so long to deliver. The amount of time and sleepless nights that we’ve invested in this is far greater than we expected and it all has to do with video. Without video, the app update would have been ready in the summer. Here’s why.

The iOS and Android Swingbyte apps are made of two parts, a shared component that does the actual reconstruction of your swing, and an individual component for the UI and interaction with the phone hardware. When we built out video, we did the same thing. A common component that processes the video stream, and an individual component that talks to the phone camera. The issue we ran into is the Android component dealing with video, and the fact that each manufacturer can, and often does, implement video functionality differently than everyone else. As a result, Android can only promise a “lowest common denominator” approach, delivering variable video quality. This makes us have to reprocess the video several times, and work around substantial performance constraints.

Swingbyte video features work by recording a continuous loop of video, listening to the Swingbyte device to get an approximate time when the swing was taken, and then doing complex image recognition of the narrowed down video fragment to identify the camera frame where impact happened. This requires continuously recording the video feed off the phone’s camera to flash (or you’d run out of memory very quickly), then, when Swingbyte says so, cutting out a few seconds of video, reformatting it for our video recognizer, and feeding it in. Along the way, the video needs to be reprocessed to be the correct frame rate (the number of frames per second recorded by an Android device isn’t controllable, it’s just a recommendation that the system can choose to ignore).

All of this, coupled with the great variety of Android devices out there, and the variability of their computational limits, have caused this update to take far longer than any of us wanted. That said - we’re close. Our beta users have been experimenting with the 2.0 tablet app for a few weeks now, and we’re optimistic that we’ve cleared the rest of our hurdles. We promise to do a better job of keeping you informed as we move forward.

One last thing: ITR and a phone app.

The ITR add-on is a common component. Once the 2.0 app is out of beta and ready to rock, it will be a minor update to enable it. That said, ITR is much more computationally intensive, so expect the list of devices that can handle it to be limited to newer, higher-end models.

The phone app will take full advantage of the work we’ve done for the tablet app. That means it’s just a matter of the new UI, which has already been drawn and is ready to be built out. Just like with ITR, once the tablet app is wrapped up, the phone app will be ready a short time after.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact support@swingbyte.com, or me directly at alex DOT pedenko AT the swingbyte domain.

Best,
Alex

How to test Swingbyte vs. radar-based systems

We hold Swingbyte’s accuracy to the highest standards - accurate, meaningful, and actionable information is essential for improving faster!

To ensure Swingbyte’s accuracy, we have spent countless hours testing Swingbyte’s output relative to golf’s other leading technologies: high speed cameras, radar-based ball launch monitors, other on-club sensor systems, etc.  There are nuances to each of these technologies, and they must be carefully considered when comparing the results of one system to another.

Given the availability of radar-based ball launch monitors, field-testing of Swingbyte relative to those systems is both common and welcome.  While Swingbyte has never and will never suggest that it is a perfect mimic for the outputs from any other technology, we believe that cross-testing technologies offers many benefits.  The most important of which is to confirm the trust you should have in Swingbyte’s accuracy and consistency.

If you are so inclined to compare the data from radar-based data systems (RBS) and Swingbyte’s, follow this protocol to ensure the most accurate comparison:

CLUB HEAD SPEED: To ensure the most accurate club head speed calculation in Swingbyte, accurate club length and shaft flex must be entered for your Swingbyte clubs.  Further, the correct club that you are using to hit golf balls must be selected in the Swingbyte app.  Swingbyte’s Club Head Speed calculation includes extensive shaft flex data across all flex categories.  While this robust library is a decisive advantage for delivering the most accurate club head speed calculation with on-club accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, there may be some variance relative to RBS due to differences between your “S” shaft and the aggregate category shaft data.

ATTACK ANGLE: Attack Angle requires two points to determine a line that is then compared to the horizon.  To determine this line, Swingbyte uses the point of impact and one millisecond before impact.  We understand that RBS use a point or points forward of impact to determine Attack Angle.  Therefore, Attack Angle is not an apples-to-apples comparison between technologies and will typically be a minute or so steeper on Swingbyte than RBS (1 minute = 6 degrees).  Further, “impact” is exactly that - the first point of contact in the downswing.  For golfers of all skill levels, this is not necessarily always the golf ball.

CLUB PATH: Swingbyte uses the clubface direction at address to determine a target line.  RBS use a fixed target line based on where the unit is aimed.  These are the target lines against which a Club Path # is determined.  Given that golfers rarely aim the clubface directly at their intended target, clubface aim at address must be accounted for when comparing Club Path #’s between the two systems.  Here’s how:

1) Hit golf balls off a lie board.  Many top teachers who use radar-based ball launch monitors in their teaching advocate using a lie board so that divots do not interfere with the radar.

2) Align the lie board’s target line perfectly with the radar system’s target line.

3) With Swingbyte properly aligned on the club, align the clubface perfectly perpendicular to the target line on the lie board…This is not necessarily a recommended golf fundamental.  It is essential, however, for neutralizing the target line differences between the two systems.

4) Make contact with the golf ball first.  As mentioned above, Swingbyte uses the first moment of impact to determine impact data.

Even with the above protocol in place, the Club Path numbers are unlikely to perfectly mimic each other.  The differences include the variance in aligning the lie board to the RBS, the Swingbyte to the clubface, and the clubface in a perpendicular fashion to the lie board’s target line.  Further, as discussed in Attack Angle, Swingbyte measures impact at a slightly different point in the swing circle than RBS.

Although a perfect apples-to-apples comparison requires great care and is difficult at best, by following these steps Swingbyte’s information will prove to be directionally consistent - swing faster or slower, steeper or shallower, more from the inside or outside, and Swingbyte will show you the appropriate change.

As always, please contact us anytime at support@swingbyte.com with questions, feedback, and success stories!

Thank you,

The Swingbyte Team

Swingbyte 2 Hardware - What’s New?

As most of our early pre-orders have shipped, we wanted to take a moment and highlight 3 major usage differences between Swingbyte 1 and Swingbyte 2 hardware.

  1. How it turns on. Swingbyte 1 turned on with a physical sliding switch. It had to be pretty stiff to make sure it wouldn’t turn off at impact. Swingbyte 2 has an electronic switch. To turn on your SB2, just hold down the silver power button on the side. The orange power light will start to blink, for about 3 seconds and then go solid. Once it goes solid, you can let go - it’s on! The same for powering off. Hold down the button for about 3 seconds - the power light will blink and then go off. Once it’s off, you can let go.

  2. How it aligns. Swingbyte 1 went in the 3 o’clock position for righties and the 9 o’clock position for lefties. It was a bit tricky to align that way, so we made Swingbyte 2 go in the 12 o’clock position (for both lefties and righties). There is a handy alignment guide as well - a vertical line in the USB cap that lines up with the leading edge of the club. [Pictures and more detail here]

  3. How it secures. Swingbyte 1 used a rubber strap to attach to the club. This made it prone to twisting at impact for certain users. With SB2, we’ve made the sensor a two-part device with a hinge, allowing us to put the center of gravity down the middle of the club shaft, and went to a cam lock instead of a strap to increase the amount of force the lock system puts down. This all but eliminates twisting on larger diameter clubs (like drivers and other woods) and decreases it substantially for other clubs. Make sure the spring latch clicks into the plastic when you close it - or it will open from the force of impact.  [Pictures and more detail here]


We’ll continue providing updates on the new app and Swingbyte 2 here and on Twitter and Facebook.  As always, please contact us anytime at support@swingbyte.com with questions, feedback, and success stories!

All the best,
The Swingbyte Crew

Swingbyte 2 Shipping Update

Swingbyte 2’s remain on track to start shipping initial pre-orders within a week.  We’ll ship pre-orders on a first-come first-served basis starting with those placed at the PGA Show.  It’s likely all pre-orders placed to date will be on their way by mid-May.  Tracking numbers will be sent via e-mail once your order has been shipped.

As always, please contact us anytime at support@swingbyte.com with questions and feedback.

Have a great weekend!
Alex, Brian, and Nathan

An Update on the Updates

We’re thrilled to share that Swingbyte 2 and the new app are just around the corner! Here’s what you can expect:

The App

The awesomely redesigned iPad app has been submitted to the App Store.  Apple typically turns these around within a week or two, depending on a variety of factors.

This will show up as an app update for all iOS users, but only the iPad will get the new UI in this update.  The iPhone will receive stability enhancements and various fixes, but will maintain the current UI.  We are hard at work developing the new UI for all platforms (phone + tablet, Android + Apple), and will keep you posted as we get more information there.

One more thing about the app.  We are really excited about the video features we are rolling out.  We showed them off at the PGA show, and are making sure that they are fully tested before rolling them out.  This release (2.0) will have synchronized video recording and trimming.  ITR will be released in an update to the app soon thereafter, once we’ve finished our testing of accuracy.  We are working with various stationary systems to make sure the numbers we produce are what you expect.

The Hardware

Swingbyte 2 hardware is in final testing, which means the start of production is just a few days away.  We are aiming to ship the first batch of Swingbyte 2 pre-orders on 4/30.  They will be sent on a first-come first-served basis, which means pre-orders taken at the PGA show will be filled first, followed by those placed online, and then retail orders.  Expect to see SB2 at an AT&T store near you in plenty of time for Father’s Day, and at a few other retailers to be announced shortly!

We’ll continue providing updates on the new app and Swingbyte 2 here and on Twitter and Facebook.  As always, please contact us anytime at support@swingbyte.com with questions, feedback, and success stories!

All the best,
The Swingbyte Crew

There’s Still Time to Earn Your Swingbyte 2 Loyalty Discount!

Swingbyte 2, featuring attachment and alignment enhancements, will be released later this spring…and there’s still time to earn your Swingbyte Loyalty Discount!  Record a swing in the Swingbyte app by end of day Sunday, March 24 - the last day of the PGA Tour’s Bay Hill event - and we’ll e-mail you a $50 discount code towards the purchase of a Swingbyte 2!

You may pre-order Swingbyte 2 here.

We’ll announce an exact ship date of initial Swingbyte 2 pre-orders within the next few weeks.

Have a great weekend!
The Swingbyte Team

Swingbyte Loyalty Program

We’re thrilled to announce the spring release of the redesigned Swingbyte 2 hardware and app! And we want to reward all current Swingbyte users with a great incentive to enjoy the latest and greatest Swingbyte hardware.

On March 24, 2013, (the last day of the Bay Hill PGA Tour event), all Swingbyte users with swings recorded in their app will receive a $50 coupon via e-mail towards the purchase of a Swingbyte 2.  Please note, the original Swingbyte sensor and Swingbyte 2 will both provide full - and free - access to all features in the Swingbyte app, including app version 2.0 with integrated video.

Swingbyte 2 pre-orders will be available at www.swingbyte.com shortly.  We’ll announce the exact timing soon via Twitter, Facebook, and the Swingbyte blog.  Please sign up here if you’d like to be notified by e-mail when pre-orders open.

Thank you to all Swingbyte users for making 2012 such a phenomenal year.  We look forward to helping even more golfers #ImproveFaster in 2013!

It’s that time again - app updates!

Android and iOS users should be seeing app updates this week (iOS updates pending Apple review), and they’ve got some neat features. The coolest is a brand new history screen:

iOS

Android

This dynamic screen will show new swings as they appear, and let you filter all your swings by date, club, shot shape and rating, giving averages across the filtered swings. A condensed version is also available on Android phones and the iPhone.

A quick note: this numbers change is retroactive, and will re-calculate your swings when you upgrade to the new version. While this is happening, your swing history may either be empty or show 0s for values. Don’t worry - all your data is still there, we’re just reprocessing it to show the updated face to path numbers.

Another part of the update is the definition of Face to Path. We’ve updated how that number is calculated to have it more closely follow industry standards. That is specifically the left-right orientation of the face relative to the club path, viewed from overhead at the point of impact. The old definition, the club face orientation within the plane it’s traveling on at any point is still available, but has been renamed to “face to plane.”

Next, we’ve made it even easier to put Swingbyte on - if you put it on at the 3 o’clock position for righties (or 9 o’clock for lefties), but upside-down, it will simply work, no change necessary. If you put it on at the wrong position, rather than not capturing anything as it did before, it will display a message that Swingbyte isn’t oriented correctly (this last part is coming to Android shortly).

Finally, for those lucky iPhone5 owners out there, the new app update takes advantage of the increased screen real-estate, and is iOS6 compatible.

The updated Android app is available now in the Google Play store, and the iOS app should be available as soon as it’s approved by Apple.

As always, let us know if you have any questions.

-Alex, Brian and Nathan.

Swingbyte adhesive mounting tabs now available!

Mounting Tabs

One issue some Swingbyte users have mentioned is that sometimes the Swingbyte sensor twists on the shaft after impact. How much this happens depends on the shaft, the club head speed, and how big of a divot is taken.  For most users this isn’t a significant issue; occasional realignment before the next shot is an easy habit to develop.  For those bothered by occasional sensor twisting - we have an enhancement.  We’ve developed an adhesive mounting tab that weigh less than 1 gram. It has an adhesive backing that will stick to any club shaft, including the slipperiest irons. Once attached, Swingbyte goes right over it, and stays in place. The added advantage is that you’re guaranteed to put your Swingbyte on in the same spot time after time.

While the attachment isn’t meant to be taken on and off, if you do need to remove it, it will come off clean.

If you are a current Swingbyte owner in the United States or Canada, and would like to receive 4 complimentary tabs, please send an email with your mailing address to inserts@swingbyte.com and we’ll send yours out ASAP! If you reside outside of the United States or Canada, or wish to receive more than 4, please contact support@swingbyte.com

For installation instructions, check out our FAQ

Thanks,
Alex, Brian, and Nathan