Case Study

Rugged Tablets Turn Golf Carts Into Multi-Function Smart Vehicles

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With the popularity of tablets, many organizations are beginning to think about how to use this slate-style computer in business environments to enhance their competitiveness, such as golf club. Golf club usually has a vast area to design various fairways so as to provide an engaging or challenging golfing experience for its members and visitors. Therefore, providing golf cart is the necessary service to allow golfers to enjoy the game by minimizing travel distance while playing around.

A golf cart can do more than transporting golfers and their golf clubs around a golf course. In fact, it can be a smart vehicle through implementing rugged tablet to provide navigation, scoring, promotional advertising and other features. Golf club could conduct large data analysis to make more suitable promotions by leveraging on the Vehicle Mount tablet to collect each golfer’s data. It could also cooperate with the stores around the club (e.g. hotel, restaurant, and golf-related shop) to play their ads, thus reducing the cost of purchasing hardware. On the other hand, golf club could benefit from such remote mobile management to supervise the fleet in a more immediate way while providing better services for its golfers.

Project Requirement

A Japanese golf club group has a number of golf courses in Japan and around the world. The company was planning
to develop an APP for its golf cart in order to increase added value and optimizing operational efficiency. Since the hardware platform plays a
key role to ensure that the APP can operate smoothly with long-term stability, the company needed to deploy a strong and sturdy tablet for each golf cart.

The APP would provide several functions such as navigating the fairway, recording the golfers' score and ball position for each hole, and playing promotional activities or ads. The tablet has to support open Operating System for developers to easily design the system. Its form factor must be greater than six inches so that displaying diverse information won’t be a problem at all. Because the tablet is desired to be operated outdoors for a long period of time, rugged specifications are basic requirements for this project, including extended temperature operation, long battery life, waterproof and dust-proof, drop resistant, high lumen, low power consumption, etc.

Solution

AMobile's GT78-V is a rugged Android™ tablet. Through Android's open development environment, the developers can create and port their APPs to GT78-V with ease. The GT78-V offers excellent graphics performance and extremely low power consumption due to embedding with MediaTek chipset which features 3D graphics, HD display, and 1080p video codec.

With 7.85” multi-touch screen, high resolution and 450 nits brightness, the GT78-V is able to show the details of images and texts vividly, even in bright sunlight. Its lightweight and slate-like appearance (550g weight and 20.9 mm thickness) allow users to mount/dock it on a golf cart or carry it anyplace and anywhere. The shell is made of plastic material, making the GT78-V easy to hold without fearing that it will slip out of your hands.

The GT78-V comes with a removable battery which offers 8 hours battery life and allows users to replace batteries in the field. This feature enables it to have enough power to run the APP since a round of golf, on average, is expected to take about four hours to play for a group of four golfers. The GT78-V also provides many wireless connectivity options, including WLAN, Bluetooth, WWAN, GPS, and NFC. This golf club chose GPS to locate the golf ball and golf cart, as well as LTE/4G, to transfer the APP’s data for analytics.

Furthermore, the GT78-V supports a wide operating temperature range of -10°C ~ 55°C, and is compliant with MIL-STD-810G (1.2m/4ft drop test) and IP65 standards, which means that it is a fully rugged device to provide better protection against dust, drops, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, humidity, water immersion and so on.

Conclusion

Hardware and software depend on and complement each other closely. The pros and cons of the hardware platform strongly affect the performance or suitability of the application system. The long battery life, high- reliability and environmental ruggedness features of AMobile’s GT78-V make it attractive for use in vehicle applications. Being chosen by the golf club of this project also proved that the GT78-V could make its innovative ideas a reality.