A US-based startup has added NFC to golf ball markers, allowing tournament organisers to pre-load lunch and drinks credits or golf buggy access rights before a game tees off.
Sensorstream's Birdie is a waterproof, coin-sized marker containing an NXP NTAG203 chip and is available in a variety of colours. Golf ball markers are used to mark the position of a ball if it needs to be lifted for cleaning or any other reason during play.
"Birdie is our entry into the growing active use and wearable consumer electronics market," says Sensorstream founder Tom Rapko. "There are literally millions of golfers out there and they all need a golf ball marker. We're hoping they choose to use Birdie."
"What Birdie brings to the game is pretty amazing. For example, at a golf tournament, the course can use Birdie to manage registration and golf scores, the sponsors can load refreshment credits, and the players can share contact information. That's some pretty amazing functionality from a device about the size of a quarter."
"I also think Birdie is a great tool to help Fortune 500 companies market their brands more effectively," Rapko adds. "Because the cool thing about a golf ball marker is that most golfers keep their markers with them not just for one or two rounds, but typically for the entire season. From a utility standpoint, that's great; from a marketing standpoint, that's tough to beat."