10 High-Speed Cameras to Improve Golf
Helping a golf research and development company improve their video feedback system for an indoor driving range.
Synchronizing 10 high-definition cameras together with a weight plate using LabVIEW to improve an existing system’s function and performance.
The Story//The Cyth Process
Ironically, the object of golf is to play the least amount of golf.
As a golfer's game improves, they're able to complete a hole with fewer and fewer strokes. The quickest way to a golfer’s improvement is by making continual adjustments to their stroke technique.
In the San Diego area, a prominent R&D facility for high-end ironwoods approached us for help. At this facility, the client performs club fittings and video recordings of the golfer's swings. Our engineering team was tasked with the synchronization of 10 high-definition cameras together with a weight plate to help provide improvements to a state-of-the-art indoor driving range. Additionally, the client needed custom functionality added to their software to provide playback or annotations required for the analysis of a golfer’s swing.
This was a repeat system with which the client desired a few major upgrades. These were the addition of higher resolution cameras and a pressure mapping mat that tracked the golfer’s stance and weight distribution. Our engineering team was able to provide the synchronization of these upgrades using LabVIEW RealTime (RT) capabilities, which allowed for high-speed communication between multiple hardware and software inputs and outputs.
There was a total of 10 cameras, all synchronized together, for the client's system. All the cameras filmed in 4K resolution, at 60 frames per second. For the video’s large data files to be processed an industrial computer used LabVIEW and Ethernet communication protocol.
The facility was set up in such a way that a golfer would hit a ball down a long dark driving range with lights shining illuminating them from the left and right. Before the golfer began, he or she would fill out relative information about their height and weight, club, and whether they were right or left-handed. Their information would be saved and logged alongside all users dating back several years. This was extremely valuable as an instructor had the ability to select past recordings to demonstrate different aspects of the golfer’s swing over time using a touch screen monitor. Further, the instructor could mark the screen showing the ball’s curve, rotation, flight path, and golfer's form.
To assist the client in adding more user features our development team built an open software architecture, allowing for future tools and customizability to be added as needed. Several of these were drawing tools, side-by-side playback, and efficient file management. The software graphical user interface incorporated designs the client provided to give a seamless and customized user experience.
Overall, we were able to assist the customer in the synchronization of 10 high-definition cameras together with a weight plate using LabVIEW to improve an existing indoor driving range’s function and performance. The customer’s ability to provide the high-quality video analysis necessary for a golfer’s continual stroke improvements was a task our engineering team was glad to be able to help with and fulfill.