September/October 2014 Tech Update

Technology | Fri 3 Oct | Author – Anne Whelton
tech update

Bite-sized news, views and updates from the global tech industry, by Anne Whelton.

Game changers

We take a look at some of the best gadgets on the market to help golfers improve their game.

Garmin Approach S61) Garmin Approach S6
A leader in GPS gadgets, Garmin has an excellent range of golf watches, including the Approach S6, which is one of the most advanced on the market. Features include: full colour hole-by-hole course view of 30,000+ international courses, precise yardage and layup distances, swing analysis – including tempo and strength and training, pinpointers and smartphone notifications when you sync the watch with your smartphone.

Price: €439.99



Last month, none other than US President Barack Obama was pictured wearing this little gadget, which was developed by Galway/San Francisco-based Active Mind Technology and has so far raised over $15m from backers including golfer Graeme McDowell. The aim of the device is to accurately track a player’s game of golf, whether he/she is a pro or a beginner. The player simply attaches the device to his/her belt, installs the unique trackers to each clubs and tags each club before taking a shot. Once finished the round, the player can see exactly how they played the round − what clubs they used and what holes were problematic − and can compare their play with friends or professional golfers on individual hole.

Price: €187



Zepp Golf Sensor3) Zepp Golf Sensor
For golfers specifically concerned with improving their swing, the Zepp Sensor is the perfect accessory. Around the size of a postage stamp, the sensor attaches to your golf glove and captures, measures and analyses your swing in three dimensions. Sync the sensor with your iOS or Android device and receive feedback on the speed, shape and tempo of your swing as well as positioning and hip rotation, which is helpful to prevent injuries.

Price: €149.95



Prazza Golf Ball Finder4) Prazza Golf Ball Finder

The only thing worse than hitting your ball into the rough is spending time trying to find it. Luckily, the Prazza Golf Ball Finder handset locates a connected Prazza golf ball within seconds, in the deepest rough and up to 100 metres. On a search, the handset screen shows you where to walk, and guides you to your ball using graphics and sound. Easy!

Price: €299


VPAR Live Golf Scoring5) VPAR Live Golf Scoring
Winner of Best Sports App at the Sports Technology Awards 2014, the VPAR app is one of the best on the market for amateur golfers. With features including: live leaderboards, GPS and course planners for over 30,000 courses worldwide, performance tracking, a scorecard archive, weather updates and a group messaging feature, VPAR has everything you need to organise a tournament with friends.

Price: Free to download with the option to purchase an annual subscription for €7.99
Available: iTunes Store

Galaxy AlphaAlpha, beta, romeo

Leading smartphone manufacturer Samsung recently unveiled its new design approach − from a plastic to a metal frame − with the launch of the Galaxy Alpha.

The latest addition to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone line, the Alpha features a 4.7″ HD super AMOLED screen, a 12MP camera, a fingerprint reader and 32GB of internal storage. However, the main difference between the Alpha and the rest of the range is in the design − as well as showcasing Samsung’s new metal frame casing, the Alpha weighs just 115g and is 6.7mm thick.

Bridging the skills gap

The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) recently launched a new Syllabus Advisory Council. The council will bring together representatives from leading digital brands and agencies, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Paypal, Ogilvy and RMG to influence and validate the first formalised, professional syllabus for digital marketing.

DMIContaining over 1,400 individual learning items, the validated syllabus combines the rigour of an academic course structure and certification with the flexibility of regular adjustments advised by the Syllabus Advisory Council to reflect the very latest industry knowledge.

Commenting on the announcement, Ian Dodson, co-founder and director of the DMI, said: “Digital marketing is a comparatively young industry, and its meteoric growth rate has left a gaping skills shortage. In a rush to up-skill, marketers have been let down by a lack of standardised, industry approved and accredited education programmes, and businesses have been left without sufficiently skilled candidates to fill all the positions being created.

“In response, we have brought the industry’s leading brands and agencies together to define exactly what skills today’s digital marketing candidates need.”

Come fly with me

Ryanair and PayPal team upLow fares airline Ryanair recently announced a new payment partnership with PayPal, meaning that passengers can now pay for their flights using the popular online payments platform.

This is the latest in a line of Ryanair customer improvements, as part of the airline’s Always Getting Better programme, which includes allocated seating, a second free cabin bag and a new easier-to-use website and app.


Ladies first

Women in Technology scholarship programmeIntel Ireland recently launched its 2014 Women in Technology scholarship programme, which aims to encourage a new generation of high-achieving women to take up the challenge of a career in science and tech.

There are seven scholarships available this year, all of which are open to female school leavers entering specified four-year undergraduate degree courses in science, tech and engineering.

The programme offers a monetary grant valued at €2,000 per annum as well as opportunities for work placements at the Intel Leixlip campus and mentorship.

The application process is open until October 17th and further details are available at