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To a tee

Photonics Spectra
May 2009
Caren B. Les, caren.les@laurin.com

If you still haven’t achieved that perfect golf swing, advanced vision technology soon could be available to help you reach that ultimate goal.

A dozen Swing&See digital camera systems from R&D Vision of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France, have been installed in French golf courses to provide recreational golfers with immediate feedback on the quality of their swing and on how to improve it. V2S (Video Sport Systems), the Paris-based provider of the system, plans to market it globally and to expand it into other sports areas, such as tennis, for practicing serves.

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The Swing&See digital camera system helps golfers practice and perfect their swing motion. Photos courtesy of R&D Vision.

Professional golfers rely on professional video recordings to analyze and help improve their swing, but for amateurs being filmed by friends, there are drawbacks; for example, the recordings are difficult to view on site without the proper display, the action is shown from only one camera angle, and the quality of the images is dependent upon the skills of the videographer.

The Swing&See tutorial tool consists of a permanently installed interactive terminal equipped with a color touch-screen display, a control unit, image processing, and two Pike digital cameras with high-speed IEEE 1394b interfaces manufactured by Allied Vision Technologies GmbH of Stadtroda, Germany.

The cameras, positioned at a 90° angle to each other to record a player’s swing movement simultaneously from the front and side, capture in sharp detail every step of the swing at 200 fps, with a shutter time of <500 μm. The start of the recording is automatically triggered by image processing software that can identify the position of the ball. The image processing application relies on the Common Vision Blox library from Stemmer Imaging of Puchheim, Germany

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 A diagram of the Swing&See system. Cameras are provided by Allied Vision Technologies (AVT).

The player can watch his or her swing on the display as soon as the shot has been recorded. The instructional tool allows slow-motion control for an image-by-image replay to detect imperfections. Markings can be added to the image to help evaluate the swing motion and can be used in comparison mode to gauge how a swing measures up to that of a professional player or to that of an earlier motion stored in the system’s memory.

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This screen shot of the user interface of the Swing&See golf swing analysis system shows the two viewing angles and toolbars for graphic assessment of the move. The user can add lines, angles and geometric figures to the image to check the position of his or her arms, the angle of the club, the position of the head and so forth.

Besides the swing assessment, the video file and speed of the ball can all be saved on a digital device such as a USB key or a memory card. That way, the player can archive the performance on a home computer to follow up on progress or to analyze the video recording with companion software.

For year-round practice, the system also is installed at Lyon Golf Indoor in France.


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