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1. WO2007146621 - METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTING THE PLACEMENT OF A GOLF BALL FOR A LAUNCH MONITOR

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

What is claimed is:
1. A method for detecting the placement of a golf ball for a launch monitor, the launch monitor measuring flight path parameters of the golf ball, comprising:
capturing an image of a scan zone, the scan zone being an area adjacent the launch monitor and in the field of view of the launch monitor's image sensor;
analyzing the scan zone image for the placement of an object; and
determining if the object is likely the golf ball.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein capturing the image of the scan zone includes using a CMOS sensor or a CCD.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the determining step further comprises comparing the object to a predefined physical attribute, the physical attribute selected from a group consisting of size, dimple pattern, reflectivity, roundness, shading, gradient, and position.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the determining step further comprises a frame to frame image comparison.

5. The method according to claim 1, further comprising;
generating an alert that the golf ball has been determined to be in the scan zone.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the scan zone further comprises a strike zone, the method further comprising;
generating an alert that the golf ball has been determined to be in the
strike zone.

7. The method according to claim 1, further comprising;
generating an alert that the object has been determined not likely to be the golf ball.

8. The method according to claim 1, further comprising;
generating a directional alert responsive to analyzing the scan zone image;
and
using the directional alert to indicate how the object should be moved to
place the object in a strike zone.

9. The method according to claim 1, further comprising;
generating a directional alert responsive to analyzing the scan zone
images and responsive to determining that the object is likely the
golf ball; and
using the directional alert to indicate how the golf ball should be moved
to place the golf ball in a strike zone.

10. The method according to claim 1, further comprising capturing a series of scan zone images.

11. The method according to claim 1, wherein analyzing the scan zone image further comprises determining an exposure characteristic or location characteristic for the golf ball.

12. The method according to claim 1, further including the step of illuminating a lamp responsive to analyzing the scan zone image.

13. The method according to claim 1, further including the steps of: capturing, responsive to the placement of the object, a second image; and using the second image in determining if the object is likely the golf ball.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the second image is of a higher resolution than the image of the scan zone.

15. The method according to claim 13, wherein the first image is of a higher resolution than the image of the scan zone.

16. The method according to claim 13, wherein the image of the scan zone is captured with a first sensor, and the second image is captured with a second sensor.

17. The method according to claim 13, wherein the image of the scan zone is captured with a window on a single sensor, and the second image is captured with a second window on the single sensor.

18. The method according to claim 13, further including using information derived from the scan zone image to adjust exposure or window settings for a next image.

19. The method according to claim 1, further including the step of initiating a trigger sequence responsive to determining the object is a golf ball.

20. A method for measuring flight parameters of a golf ball, comprising:
capturing an image of a scan zone;
analyzing the scan zone image for the placement of an object;

determining if the object is likely the golf ball;
locating the golf ball in a strike zone;
capturing a first image of the golf ball;
capturing a second image of the golf ball; and
calculating the flight parameters using the first and the second images.

21. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of using the first image and the second image to track the initial flight path of the golf ball.

22. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of using the first image and the second image to determine if the initial flight path of the golf ball is indicative of a golf ball launch.

23. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of using the first image and the second image to determine if the initial flight path of the golf ball is indicative of a false movement.

24. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of using the first image and the second image to determine if the initial flight path of the golf ball is indicative of a putt.

25. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of using the first image and the second image to determine if the initial flight path of the golf ball is indicative of a chip.

26. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of using the first image and the second image to determine if the initial flight path of the golf ball is indicative of a drive.

27. The method according to claim 20, further comprising capturing the scan zone image, the first image, and the second image using the same sensor device.

28. The method according to claim 20, wherein the strike zone image is captured using a first window on a sensor device, the first image is captured using a second window on the sensor device, and the second image is captured using a third window on the sensor device.

29. The method according to claim 20, further comprising monitoring a trigger zone for launch of the golf ball.

30. The method according to claim 29, wherein monitoring for the trigger comprises monitoring an image, monitoring for a sound, or monitoring a radar signal.

31. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of guiding a golfer to move the ball to the strike zone using directional alerts.

32. The method according to claim 20, further comprising the step of adjusting sensor settings responsive to determining if the golfer is using one of a left hand swing or a right hand swing.

33. The method according to claim 20, further comprising determining a swing direction, wherein the determining swing direction is automatically determined by an initial position of the golf ball.

34. The method according to claim 20, further comprising determining a swing direction, wherein the determining swing direction is automatically determined by an initial movement of the golf ball after a strike by a golf club.

35. The method according to claim 20, further comprising determining a swing direction, wherein the determining swing direction is automatically determined by a movement of a golf club.

36. The method according to claim 20, further comprising determining a swing direction, wherein the determining swing direction is manually input to the launch monitor.

37. A launch monitor with assisted placement capability, comprising: a housing;
a sensor arrangement;
an indicator; and
a processor configured to operate the steps of:
capturing images of a scan zone using the sensor arrangement;
analyzing the scan zone images for the placement of an object;
determining if the object is likely the golf ball; and
activating the indicator responsive to determining that the object is
likely the golf ball.

38. The launch monitor according to claim 37, wherein activating the indicator further comprises:
directing, using the indictor, that the golf ball be moved so as to be placed in a strike zone.

38. The launch monitor according to claim 37, wherein activating the indicator comprises illuminating a direction-indicating lamp set.

39. The launch monitor according to claim 37, wherein activating the indicator comprises illuminating a lamp.

40. The launch monitor according to claim 37, wherein activating the indicator comprises generating an audible alert.

41. The launch monitor according to claim 37, wherein the indicator comprises an LCD display, an LED lamp, or an incandescent lamp.

42. The launch monitor according to claim 37, wherein the housing is foldable.

43. A method for placing a golf ball for a launch monitor, the launch monitor measuring flight path parameters of the golf ball, comprising:
finding the golf ball within an image-capture zone of the launch monitor;
generating a directional instruction to assist a golf to move the ball to a more preferred position; and
providing a confirmation signal that the golf ball is properly placed.

44. The method according to claim 43, further including the steps of: determining an exposure characteristic or a location characteristic of the placed golf ball; and
using the determined characteristic to assist image capture of the golf ball in flight.