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Here’s more information about that AI and Microsoft powered virtual golf caddie

Prior to the shuttering of its fitness-focused smartwatch, Microsoft and the PGA were doing some arguably cutting edge collaborative work around golf and movement tracking. When using the Microsoft Band, golfers could track their steps, see a detailed view of the course, measure swings and keep score digitally for convenience.

However, as Microsoft looks forward, the company is placing more bets on AI than hardware and has seemingly come up with a solution to help golfers left abandoned by Microsoft’s departure from the smartwatch world.

Earlier today, the golf tracking startup from Stamford, Connecticut partnered with Microsoft and its powerful AI platform to create a new pocket-sized caddie like experience for golfers. As Geekwire reports, “say you’re standing on the tee box on a hole at your home course. Arccos Caddie will crunch both your previous round history — your tendencies to hit left or right, your average shot distance, etc. — with the course condition information to give you advice for the optimal shot recommendation. Maybe you think your driver can carry the water and land on a narrow fairway, but the Arccos Caddie may tell you otherwise.”

The driver (pun intended) behind Arccos Caddie is to provides golfers with actual data driven info in a matter of seconds that can help improve someone’s game in a real and tangible way.

Arccos Caddie is not without its faults. Despite the reality of people pulling out their phones every 30 to 45 seconds to look at news, post to social media, play games or simply distract themselves, some golfers have pointed out the troublesome nature of having to always whip out a phone for a shot.

As a golfer myself, I find it a bit troublesome to take out my smartphone for each shot. Syed and his team know this — “golfers are not out there to collect data; they are out there to have fun,” he said — but believe that the value delivered from the app outweighs a behavior change required.

Fortunately, some see the benefits outweighing the drawbacks of having to pull out a phone more often than desired.For those who are interested in the benefits Arccos Caddie has to offer, the service, that is exclusive to Arccos 360 users ($249.99) who have played at least five rounds, will officially launch May 22 and be available for free through the end of the month, after which a subscription based model will be implemented.

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Do you think Microsoft was wise to move beyond the smartwatch?