Montreal tech company wants to make you a better curler
Published Thursday, January 4, 2018 9:15PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 8, 2018 6:18PM EST
A Montreal tech company is hoping to inject a little modernization into one of Canada’s oldest games.
At first glance, there’s not much high-tech about curling – all it takes is some brooms, 40-lb rocks and ice, but that’s something that IntelliSports co-founder John Morris wants to change.
“Technology in curling has barely existed in the last five years. We’ve seen some innovation with the brooms but it’s scant,” he said.
Morris, along with partner Jonathan Guillemette, recently developed Klutch Curling, a system which measures a curling rock’s speed, number of rotations and whether it’s pushing or pulling.
“This technology allows you to be very precise in your speed so you can then practice over and over and get consistent,” said Morris.
Guillemette said they were inspired by the theory that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.
“It’s not just about playing curling for 10,000 hours, you need to work on things that you’re weak on for 10,000 hours,” he said. “That’s the path to expertise.”
The system is comprised of sensors installed under the ice at a curling rink, along with electronics installed in each rock. Those electronics get paired to a curler’s phone via Bluetooth, allowing them to track their performance.
“Once the club has done that, the users are free to get the app and pair their phone to a set of rocks or all the rocks if they want,” said Guillemette.
The company has already installed the sensors at the Royal Montreal Curling Club, the oldest in North America, as well as over 40 other rinks across Canada, and enthusiasts are already singing its praises.
“It’s a technical age these days and if you can simply get better by having your phone on you, it’s definitely going to take off, especially with the younger crowd,” said curling coach Nicolas Cote.
Guillemette and Morris hope that the technology can be extended to other sports.
“It’s really the approach to the problem,” said Guillemette. “You’ll see in the upcoming fall, we have a very unique take on how we want to introduce measurements to hockey.”