Nice scoop by Al Cameron over at his blog about the release of the top secret broom technology from last year and the purchase of and exclusive license for the patent on that technology by Balance Plus.
You can read most of the info about the broom in Al's work but a few follow-up notes here that I gleaned after talking to Lino Di Iorio, the guy who started Balance Plus.
In Al's column it pointed out that the top men's teams weren't able to use the brush heads because they'd simply rip the ice up. But Balance Plus is already testing new materials that are less abrasive but will still be be more effective thanks to the technology. That will allow these elite men's teams to use the brooms. Of course the vast majority of players will be able to make use of the technology as it is presently.
Second, DiIorio said the testing that created this technology was not part of the Own the Podium program and didn't receive funds from that. It was actually a separate testing and development project undertaken by the University of Western Ontario. It was independent of the research the same group was asked to conduct for Own the Podium which was also on sweeping.
But no matter. . . the bottom line is that these brooms will make a significant difference for most curlers. Can't wait to test it out!