Altaz 3″ LCD Golf Rangefinder

Altaz 3
Altaz 3" LCD Golf Rangefinder

If you are an avid golfer, you have probably used a rangefinder at some point to estimate the accuracy of your shot. Golf rangefinders give accurate yardages to any point on the course and help you determine how far you need to hit your shots but are they always practical?

GOAL$80,000PLEDGED$ 4,061
Project status dated : 14 October 2022


Altaz Rangefinder – The World’s First Rangefinder with a Large External 3” LCD Viewfinder

Most rangefinders in the market are not very easy to use, especially if you tend to wear eyeglasses or sunglasses while playing golf. To clearly see the distance through the viewfinder, you would typically have to take off your glasses and squint your eye each time you use a rangefinder. This can quickly get tiring and even start impacting your performance negatively.

As avid golfers, we had the same exact experience. That is why we created the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder.

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About the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder

The Altaz Rangefinder is the World’s first rangefinder with a large external 3” LCD viewfinder panel that conveniently flips out on the side to make it easier to search your target. This first-of-its-kind rangefinder is designed to be held like a digital camcorder. With the consumer’s comfort in mind, its 3” LCD screen allows any golfer to easily determine the distance to a target without removing eyeglasses or squinting, unlike most rangefinders on the market.

By simply opening the panel and holding up the rangefinder, the user can accurately single out the target and assess the distance. For those with an unsteady hand, its image stabilization technology further adds convenience and delivers ease of use to the golfing experience. Once you open the panel, just point and press like you would if you were using any other rangefinder.

The Altaz External LCD Rangefinder will help you identify the right distance and pick the right club faster. It will not only improve your scores but also make golf more fun!

Our Story

My name is James Lin. I am a product manager by trade. Throughout my career, I’ve designed and launched many products into the market, such as digital photo frames and smart home devices. Some of you might already have my products in your household. As a product manager, my job is to find a solution to a problem and implement it so that it can lead to improvement.

I have also been an avid golfer for many years. As I kept playing golf and my games improved, I  invested in a rangefinder to help lower my score. I soon discovered that there was a huge problem in using the rangefinder. In the first few rounds, I had difficulties finding the right target because my glasses were always in the way, blocking my view into the small internal viewfinder. Every time I tried looking into the viewfinder, I also squinted my eye.  On top of that, my hands started shaking, so the target kept moving, and I couldn’t fire the laser at the target to get the correct distance reading. What was I going to do? I needed my glasses to see properly, so I couldn’t just forego them. So, I gave up using the rangefinder instead!

This was a shame because I genuinely believed in the benefits that one could get from a properly designed rangefinder. A rangefinder would improve any golfer’s play of golf by helping them find the proper distance. I knew that whether you are a professional or a weekend amateur golfer, the rangefinder is a must-have accessory!

Then, one day, just as I had given up on using the rangefinder, I started staring at it as it was lying on my desk. I started wondering how this tool could be re-designed in a way that would allow people like me to use it effectively. At this moment, my product manager instincts kicked in, and I started thinking about why all rangefinders had such small viewfinders.

This was exactly when I had my aha moment! I had recently seen a smartphone commercial where the announcer was boasting about the camera’s ability to see objects from a far distance. Why not attach a larger LCD on a rangefinder like the modern digital camera/camcorder to eliminate the eye squinting or prevent the glasses from blocking the viewfinders?

This was when the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder was born.

How We Developed the Altaz Rangefinder?

Research & Proof of Concept: With the idea of an external LCD screen on a rangefinder, I started researching the ins and outs of the product and looking for a way to create a design of exactly what I had in mind. I invested in purchasing a few rangefinders and connected them to my smartphone and a 20-year-old camcorder. Just by aiming the camcorder lens at the rangefinder’s viewfinder, I was able to see the rangefinder readings and images on the camcorder’s LCD screen quite clearly. At this point, I knew I was going to be able to make this work!

Turning the Idea into a Design: I started looking for solutions to bring this innovative idea to life. Leveraging my 20+ years of relationships with contract manufacturers in Asia, I collected many valuable designs and manufacturing ideas just from talking to suppliers and engineers. Simultaneously, I also started working on the product ID design best fits all existing components in a small footprint.

Market Validation: In 2021, I submitted the conceptual design – a rangefinder design with an external LCD viewfinder- to the Inventor’s Spotlight Competition hosted by PGA Merchandise Show. I still remember jumping up and down in my living room when I was notified by the committee that I was selected as one of the finalists and that my design would be showcased on PGA’s New Product Spotlight 2021.

Moving from Design to Prototype: With the validation from the PGA Merchandise Show, I quickly asked my suppliers to use the shelf components and my ID design to create a working engineer sample to be used as a demo at the show. My suppliers, who were also very excited about the positive feedback my product received, successfully delivered a few working samples within a few days and right before my first meeting with the Innovator’s Spotlight program manager. I showcased my samples at the PGA Show in January 2021, where the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder made its first media debut.

Press Coverage and Feedback

I am proud to report that the Altaz Rangefinder has received positive feedback from the press and critics. A short time after my demo was displayed at the PGA Show, I was contacted by GolfWeek Magazine to conduct an interview about the demo. A day after the PGA Show, Altaz External LCD Rangefinder became one of the top items on GolfWRX’s Things We Loved, Day 1 list. The editors on Golflink where the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder was also featured, even commented, “Why didn’t someone else think of this sooner?”

The most critical success factor in launching any product is market validation. During the past two years of my team working on this product, we have received positive validation from trade journal editors, golf coaches, avid golf players, and social media followers.

The most critical success factor in launching any product is market validation. During the past two years of my team working on this product, we have received positive validation from trade journal editors, golf coaches, avid golf players, and social media followers.

With all the positive feedback me and my team received from the press, pro-golfers, and coaches, we decided it was time to move forward with manufacturing the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder so that millions of golfers worldwide could use it and experience its benefits. Even though we had a successfully-engineered working prototype that was featured at the PGA Show, we did not stop making improvements to the current version of the rangefinder. We hired an electrical engineering design house and a mechanical designer to redesign and eliminate any possible issues that may arise during the manufacturing process. A high-caliber mechanical designer friend has helped perfect the product ID and enclosure design, including the PCBA and electronic component fitment designs. We also made sure to source the right components and parts that would make up the Altaz rangefinder, down to the hinges and small metal parts. The mechanical structure parts, i.e., product ID and enclosure, have now been completed and are ready for tooling.

Critical Funding for Product Launch – As we are making the final touches and improvements to our product, one critical missing piece is raising funds needed for tooling and materials for mass production. And this is where you come in! By supporting this funding campaign, you become a proud backer of the launch of the 1st-of-its-kind Altaz External LCD Rangefinder to the worldwide market.

We are not Idling – Throughout this campaign, we will continue to improve the rangefinder performance and the user interface software and finalize the mobile app for advanced sensor upgrades. We are also finalizing the designs of the protective case and the packaging box that you will receive the rangefinder with. All these activities will be ready by the time this campaign concludes, and we will be ready for production, followed by shipment to your homes!

Key Features of the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder

Besides providing a large external 3” LCD viewfinder screen that allows golfers to easily determine the distance to a target, the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder also offers the following features:

  •  Temperature and Humidity Sensors: Many golfers know that temperature and humidity affect the ball distance. It is known that a golf ball flies much farther in the heat of the summer than in the colder months of winter (or even fall or spring). Humidity has a significant effect on golf ball distance, too. The higher the humidity, the longer the ball flies. This is why we added temperature and humidity sensors to the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder, allowing the user to re-calculate the play-like distance.
  •  Bluetooth:  To make it easier to upgrade or sync up your rangefinder anytime, the optional Bluetooth allows you to connect the rangefinder to the mobile app without any cable or wire.
  •  Frisbee Golf: During the early introduction, we received inquiries about using our rangefinder for frisbee golf. Unlike golf uses yards or meters for distance, we will also add feet for frisbee golf to help find the distance.
  •  Product Features 

 A.I. Caddie (Name TBD): Here is how it works: 

  • Once the golfer identifies the target distance, the next step would be to select the right club. It is often easy for golfers to remember how far they hit using each iron. If you have a caddie as a professional golfer has, you can select the right club with them that will allow you to hit the right distance. 
  • Since most golfers don’t have a caddie, we added a small “cheat sheet” on Altaz Rangefinder mobile app to be installed on your smartphone. 
  • On the smartphone mobile app, you will enter the distance you typically hit and then sync that with your Altaz rangefinder. 
  • When you start playing and aim for the target spot, the rangefinder will suggest the right club based on the distance you have entered into the app for each club. The screen will then display the “suggested club” for you.
  •  For example, after identifying the target, the Altaz rangefinder calculates the distance based on readings from several built-in sensors and provides you with the “play-like distance.”  Let’s say that the Altaz rangefinder gives you a distance of 154 yards. You typically hit 150 yards with your 7-iron, and it has been entered into the mobile app. The Altaz rangefinder will show you the suggested 7-iron at the bottom of “play like distance.”
  • This will help save you the time you normally spend contemplating which club to use to reach that distance. It is like the private virtual caddie on your side while you play!  
  • Based on PGA regulations of each golf course, the Altaz rangefinder will provide you with a “practice mode” that displays all the sensors and slope readings or a “ tournament mode” that only shows the straight distance. It is very easy to switch from one mode to the other using the settings menu. 

  * The final display layout may be adjusted

As we make the final touches and improvements to our product, the only other missing piece now is raising funds for tooling and preparing the materials needed for mass production. And this is where you come in! By supporting this campaign, you will be an important part of the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder’s introduction to the world market.

Throughout this campaign, we will continue to improve the software performance and work on the standard application (app) for software and sensor upgrades. We are also currently working on finalizing the protective case and the packaging box that the product will be shipped in. All will be ready by the time this campaign concludes, and the products are ready to be shipped to your homes!

About Our Team and Manufacturing Partners

Both James and Yuping have 20-30 years of product development experience in computer and consumer electronics in Silicon Valley. They have managed products from definition, design, validation, and production to sales and customer support.

James Lin (Product Manager/Founder): James Lin has years of experience creating products from concept to market.

Yuping Chung (Operations): Yuping brings 30+ years of operations experience, including engineering, production, and sales & marketing, to manage the success of the Altaz Rangefinder.  One of his most recent ventures is a 7-year-old medical device startup delivering COVID-19 qPCR diagnostic equipment. Yuping also serves as an advisor to several startups in robotics, semiconductor, and medical devices. He has 20+ years of executive experience in semiconductor and consumer electronics with an MS in Electronics Engineering.

ME Designer: Our ME designer has years of experience in smartphone and VR products. He was the leading designer for a popular VR product from a major company in silicon valley.

Onsite production manager –  We have a production manager in Shenzhen, China, coordinating development and production. We have known each other for many years and collaborated on a smart home Bluetooth project before. 

Turnkey EE Design House:

Altaz has been working with a digital camera design house and a rangefinder manufacturer based in China since the beginning of this project in late 2019. This design house has delivered millions of dashcams using the digital camcorder and geo-positioning technologies essential to the Altaz Rangefinder. Their engineers not only have years of experience in dashboard recording cameras providing us with the right design and solution but also have been incredibly enthusiastic and supportive of this rangefinder project.

Laser Module Supplier:

We are fortunate to have a partner as one of the best laser module suppliers for this rangefinder project. This supplier has not only manufactured the laser module used in rangefinders for years and produced millions of units but also has a principal critical engineer involved in building rangefinders for a major international brand. The advanced laser module in the Altaz rangefinder is smaller and performs better than those found in average rangefinders. You can see from the dimensions in our prototype that it is more compact and will make the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder lighter to carry around. This laser module supplier also has extensive experience in final assembly to ensure the laser and the camera are aligned correctly to find the accurate distance.

What’s Next  – Let’s make it happen together. 

Through this crowdfunding campaign, we are seeking to raise $60,000.

This fund will be used to produce the first batch of mass-production Altaz Rangefinders.

Until now, we have been self-funded with some financial support from family members. We are able to complete the development and design process for the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder.  To move from development to mass production,  we need additional financial infusion so that we can introduce the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder to golfers like you throughout the globe.


Why Becoming A Backer?

Many golf experts have called our rangefinder a game changer. Several avid golf players with large social media followers also can’t wait to get their hands on our rangefinder. During the past two years, we have received nothing but positive feedback from trade journal editors, golf coaches, golf players, and social media followers. We have full confidence in our product and our team’s ability to implement the production process.

With your support, we can offer this new creative design to help millions of golfers worldwide improve their golf games. And this includes you! Support our campaign, take advantage of savings on this incredible product and be the first person in your golf group to own the Altaz External LCD Rangefinder.

View project on Kickstarter


Crowdfunding Campaigner Magazine has selected this project as part of the general selection process and has not been requested or paid commission to promote this project. The project is considered as relevant in this market and suggesting the project is worth backing due to its viability and potential for success.

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