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AboutGolf is a 20-year-old golf company and its business is indoor golf simulator technology. While its human nature to associate the product to the corresponding business, several steps are integrated in order to determine an ultimate commercial application and for the Maumee, OH., business this process involves several layers. “I'm in the business of golf performance technology,” explained Bill Bales, AboutGolf’s CEO on his blog site, http://www.thenext500years.com in February. “Golf performance technology is a new term relating to high-tech stuff that can help you become a better golfer. According to the PGA of America, 2008 marks the dawn of the launch monitor. If you didn't know, the PGA is a bit slow on the uptake. They still use slide rules and rotary dial phones (at least they still remember stymies and gutties). Launch monitors have been around quite a while. The first valid launch monitor to make a name for itself was made by a company called Swing Dynamics, maybe two hundred “tech-years” ago. They aren't around anymore, but more than a few members of the golf community still promote it as the most advanced technology available,” he continued. “Notwithstanding the PGA’s take, launch monitors started going mainstream in 2003 with a product called Vector. Vector was/is a two-dimensional photographic system designed to take two pictures of the ball shortly after launch,” Bales said. “Marks on the ball enable the system to provide a measurement of ball data. The Swing Dynamics system was of the same technology, perhaps even a bit more accurate when used properly, but much more expensive and difficult to operate. The Vector was an instant success because of its portability and relative ease of use. “The current popular price leader is a product called Zelocity. Like the Vector, its data is not extremely accurate (their salesmen would take issue with this). But it’s so easy to use that even a below average simian can run it, which is a good thing considering most PGA pros didn't go to MIT (I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for that remark, but my journalistic integrity demands I call it like I see it),” Bales continued. “The big name price-no-object product out there today is called Trackman. Like Zelocity, it applies Doppler radar technology. Radar has been around since the Haskell ball, but Trackman’s architecture applies the Doppler radar in a more sophisticated way, called phased array. To be overly simple (about as much as my below average simian brain can achieve), Trackman radar is 3D and Zelocity is 2D. And, 3D isn't just one better than 2D–it’s better in exponential proportions (imagine if the world was 2D–that wall ten feet away would be right in front of you–you’d be stuck in the same place for life),” the CEO said. “Trackman is, overall, a much more accurate system than Zelocity or Vector, although it doesn't measure spin in the true sense of the word. A little voodoo takes place between what they measure and the data that comes out. But it's pretty good. The real deficiency lies in Trackman's ability, or lack thereof, to measure spin axis--radar can't do it. But Trackman has made a name for itself as a long range-tracking device. It follows the ball for over 300 yards, so they say. Hence it can see which way the ball curves and guesstimate the spin vector