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Brain Pool Tech: Analyzing Data from 300 Feet Above
A popular groundskeeper in the literary world is Hagrid, from the Harry Potter series of books. Even though Hagrid, his dog Fang, and the grounds at Hogwarts are all instances from fiction, it begs the question, “how hard must his job be?” In the real world vast acres of sports fields, golf courses, recreational parks, and nature reserves all form their own mini-ecosystems—their reconnaissance quite difficult but associated data, quite valuable. Management of these large environments struggle to value and evaluate all data sources on a regular basis. This is where drones stand to serve a valuable role, with capabilities in providing mapping, inspection, measurement, or just plain aerial views of large properties. Singapore-based data science group Brain Pool Tech offers such drone-feed based solutions, to both obtain and process drone footage, and provide clear cut visibility across any patch of land on the face of the earth. The company seeks to make drone data more pertinent by adding more value to its contents, be it in analysis, monitoring or marketing, so that it can be more useful to customers and service providers, across a wide variety of terrains and venues.
"As a startup, we need to define the niche that we need to target first. For us right now, it is the golfing industry, which offers large areas that are highly specialized"
The Buildup to Battery Powered Groundskeepers
The drone data collection market and servicing area has been growing steadily for the last five to eight years. The solutions available today are accessible to a large percentage of the population, and a lot of companies have come out with services that leverage drone technologies. However, it is quite challenging to integrate this data to make it useful—a functional area where the industry is still lagging. This is where Brain Pool Tech comes in. “We want to facilitate the use of drone technology by helping interpret data and making it readily available for customers so that they get the best value out of this data,” states Kai Voges Ph.D., co-founder of Brain Pool Tech. The company was the combined brainchild of Voges and co-founder Cullen Owens Ph.D., who mentions, “If you imagine any activity that takes place in a large environment where drones are applicable, then it can use our services and software.” The challenges are many in drone-based data collection, even after the drone footage is obtained, depending on the user’s industry. To consider how useful the data can be is largely dependent on their specific use cases. Furthermore, if one were to try to use this data with off-the-shelf editing/ data capture software, the user would run into problems related to file format compatibility, content interpretation, and size. These product-related concerns are addressed by Brain Pool Tech that is currently specializing in this regard, to the golfing industry—a sector that they have identified as having a high applicability for a solution of their caliber. Starting with the architecture, all the way through to the construction, maintenance, monitoring, and finally the usage, the company finds drone tech to be very useful throughout the whole life cycle of the golf course.
We want to facilitate the use of drone technology by helping interpret data and making it readily available for customers so that they get the best value out of this data
However, they point out that the technology is not realized throughout the whole cycle—a pitfall shared by sporting avenues of all sizes across a range of different topographies, all of which stand to benefit from the use of drone data optimization by Brain Pool Tech.
Beyond Flying Cameras and aerial mapping
“As a startup, we need to define the niche that we need to target first. For us right now, it is the golfing industry, which offers large areas that are highly specialized,” states Voges. Brain Pool Tech noted that in the golfing world, topography and quantitative surveys are important and that one of the major pain points is the refurbishment and redesign of golf courses. This facet of golfing had always been based on old data, with the current market looking back at information from 20 years ago. This is attributable to traditional methods of generating surveys which are cumbersome and expensive. To this end, drone-based applications offer rapid and inexpensive solutions to produce new topographic and quantitative maps.
“We are working with one of the best golf courses in Asia, and we have developed our technology in parallel with them, by using their environment to refine our technology,” adds Owens. This particular client is in the process of renewing their course to its original design, maintaining both its legacy and well-known global identity. After the client saw Brain Pool Tech’s solution, they were convinced and hired them immediately, since the client was confident that Brain Pool Tech’s work would meet the highest of quality expectations.
Brain Pool Tech’s solution does more than just integrate drone data. It also integrates with tracking devices on a hardware level, which is useful to the management for monitoring of usage and the maintenance crew. Besides that, in many large environments there exist several sensor data readouts. Specifically in golf, clients would want to know the salinity of the ground, moisture, and more generally the quality of the soil—all of the data streams that Brain Pool Tech can integrate in real time on their platform. This is in stark contrast to traditional software that would only be capable of holding the drone data, being static without any kind of real-time component to it. Additionally, Brain Pool Tech offers an interface within a desktop version where events can be monitored in the back-office, with a supporting front end that faces different segments of users. These could be the marshals monitoring the field, or the users themselves navigating these spaces.
For a More Sustainable Tomorrow
One of the key factors, especially with golf courses, is that they are trying to be more environmentally conscious. In a sport that takes up so much space, a lot of land is required. Subsequently, there is a lot of push for the golfing industry to come up with ways that are sustainable for communities around them and ensure that the land is also utilized responsibly.
Looking to the future, the company realizes that there is a lot of opportunities once an outstanding interface (video, VR, AR and such) is developed and on the table. It would give users the capability to integrate third parties to take part in the environment being covered, complete with 3D models, augmented reality, and creating ways for marketing and targeting customers. There is an emphasis on sustainability and on the new and innovative forms of marketing, which Brain Pool Tech believes are growing hand-in-hand.
Smart and Pervasive Data for the Future—Today
The company considers itself fortunate, being located in Singapore, where in SE Asia and Asia in general, there is a lot of growth for the golfing industry. Brain Pool Tech is focused on integrating more sensors that have not been used yet to monitor these environments. There are specific requirements for different areas, chief among which is water. The company is looking into adopting new solutions for the better monitoring of this aspect in other expanses as well, and delivering more tracking related information as needed—in a national park, where it is important to know where the different animals are, or tracking queue length in theme parks and zoos. A very powerful aspect that Brain Pool Tech can harness with its platform is the immense amount of data that would be collected and analyzed through the process. For every sensor, there will be a multiplicative potential for use cases for that data and monetizing that data in a more general sense is something that Brain Pool Tech considers for the long term. They realize that besides the topographical data, there will also be user data, which resides in movement patterns and behavioral patterns, which is already something the company has considerable expertise in. To Brain Pool Tech, data is the lifeblood of the modern world, and what better way to help tap into its potential than by applying it to the physical world, from capture to analysis to value creation, the very solution that they bring to the table.
July 08, 2019