After GasBuddy was successfully acquired in 2013, founder Dustin Coupal and senior developer Tim Borgares created the technology company 54eDev Studios. Initially, they worked on creating agtech robotics to remotely control field equipment. They soon discovered the inadequacy of typical live video technology - if there were a few seconds of latency, any remote operated farm equipment could already be stuck in a slough. They took the initiative to research and develop a novel ultra-low latency video platform that they then used to create the unique gaming experience of OneShot Golf.
“There’s virtual reality where you’re wearing goggles and augmented reality where you’re holding up your phone, so we’re coining the term ‘Connected Reality’ where you’re able to control the world around you using robotics with live video,” shares Dustin Coupal. “ OneShot Golf is a truly unique gaming experience made possible with our live video technology platform.”
OneShot Golf brings robotics and gaming together by using proprietary real-time video technologies for a true-to-life virtual sports experience. Using ultra-low latency video transmission, users control real robots on a mini-golf course in a warehouse. Set up competition-style, users can play in daily tournaments and win real prizes.
“No matter how much effort is put into a physics engine in the gaming world, it still doesn’t feel real,” Coupal says. “We built the best physics engine in the world by using the real world. Our motto is ‘You Can’t Fake Real!’”
Unlike virtual reality, users don’t need a large open space to play; they can download the app from the Android or Apple store and start playing on their smartphone. The game is currently free to play right now and you can invite friends to join you. With three free plays per day, users take one shot and move onto the next hole.
“We’re looking for people who are highly engaged and highly competitive since there are currently only 80 holes to play,” Coupal explains. In the near future, they have plans to add another 400 golf holes and hire more golf course hosts. "Having live people on the course waving and helping you along is something you really can’t do with pixels," adds Coupal.
“Everything will become automated and robotic in the future, so we’re well-positioned with a tech platform that can be applied in a much broader way,” Coupal smiles. With opportunities beyond OneShot Golf, the technology could open up to other gaming streams, robotic control of surgical instruments or other devices, and Coupal adds, “hopefully someday back to automated agriculture—where it all started.”
The team has been seeing great success with OneShot Golf so far, and they will be focusing on the North American market with a future global rollout down the line. “It’s novel and innovative, and there’s nothing quite like this right now,” shares Coupal.
54eDev was one of a handful of companies that have raised $1M under the Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive (STSI). They have also been grateful to receive support from the Conexus Venture Capital Fund, Broad Street Bulls VC, Golden Opportunities Fund, SaskWorks Venture Fund and have formed great relationships and introductions from these partnerships.
Coupal is thrilled to have such a hardworking team building this game-changing tech in Saskatchewan. With the work ethic, creativity, and resiliency of our province, the 54eDev team is excited to be working on OneShot Golf and gladly put in the hours to make this project come to life. “That effort that goes in speaks to the people we have in the province,” Coupal finishes. “We’re bred for innovation, so let’s show the world what we’re capable of.”
Founders: Dustin Coupal, Tim Borgares
Incorporation Date: September 2019