The concept for an electronic hog line violation detection system came from Professor Eric Salt at the University of Saskatchewan. He offered the concept as a fourth-year design project for a group of electrical engineering students. The original design team included Professor Eric Salt and students; Jarret Adam, Jason Smith, Johanna Koch, and Kevin Ackerman. Startco staff had some early involvement as Eric approached his long time friend Joe Dudiak of Startco to mentor the students. The U of S design had a permanent magnet at the bottom of the rock and a magnetic field sensing strip imbedded in the ice cable connected to a display. The initial in-ice sensing strip was assembled in the Startco facility in the winter of 1999/2000.
After the students graduated, Startco was approached to finish the design and to take the product to market. Although the design was extensively modified, Startco pays royalties to the U of S and the students for sharing concepts and contacts. After over a year of research and development Startco released the Eye on the Hog system.
Neil Houston of the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) expressed interest in the project from the beginning. The CCA was the first organization to purchase the system for use in their competitions.