R&D Vision is a French company specialized in the development of vision-based measurement and diagnostic solutions. Based in Saint-Maur in the outskirts of Paris, R&D Vision has developed Swing & See, an innovative golf swing analysis tool on behalf of its client V2S (Video Sport Systems).
The Challenge: A Powerful Professional Imaging Tool in Self-Service
Any golf player would confirm it: mastering the perfect swing is a matter of practice and patient training. Professional players have been using video recordings for a long time to analyze their swing in detail and then improve it.
It has of course always been possible for any recreational golf player to have them-selves filmed by a friend with a camcorder to analyze their mistakes. Although this method may provide some help, it offers only very limited analysis capabilities: the image quality depends on the quality of the camera used and the skills of the per-son operating it.
Besides, the recordings cannot be viewed properly on site without an appropriate display. They may include movement artefacts and show the action only from one view angle.
The Solution: Swing & See
R&D Vision has developed the system “Swing & See”, an innovative tutorial tool for the golf practice tee. This system offers recreational golfers the possibility to im-prove their swing using advanced profes-sional vision technologies.
The system consists of an interactive ter-minal equipped with a color touch-screen display which houses the control unit and image processing combined with two AVT Pike digital cameras. The whole set is permanently installed on the golf practice tee and is weather-proof for outdoors installation. The user interface is easy and intuitive.
The move of the swinging player is captured by the two cameras simultaneously at 200 images per second. The cameras are positioned with a 90° angle to each other in order to record the action simultane-ously from the front and the side. Thanks to the high frame rate (200 fps) and a very short shutter time (<500 µs), the cameras provide very sharp images of every single step of the movement. The start of re-cording is automatically and simultane-ously triggered by image processing soft-ware able to identify the position of the ball. Thus, the whole swing process is precisely captured from both view angles.
As soon as a shot has been recorded, the player can watch his or her swing on the terminal’s display. A didactic tool allows slow motion control for an image by image replay in order to detect the slightest imperfection. Graphic markings can be added on the picture to help assess the swing motion and a comparison mode offers the possibility to compare the player’s own performance with that of a professional instructor (or one’s earlier motion) stored in the memory of the sys-tem. After the training, the golfer can save the whole data (video file, assessment of the swing, speed of the ball,…) on a digi-tal device such as a USB key or a memory card. That way, he can archive his perform-ance at home on his PC to follow up on his progress or further analyze the video re-cording at home with companion software available for download on the website of the service provider.
Best Choice for Cameras: Pike by Allied Vision Technologies
"For that project, a high frame rate and a short shutter time were key to ensure pre-cise, high-quality recordings which are cru-cial for the ongoing analysis”, says Arnaud Susset, CEO of R&D Vision. The digital camera Pike F-032 from Allied Vision Technologies and its high-speed IEEE 1394b interface were the best choice for this application.
Use in Practice: Other Sports Under Development
Swing & See has now reached its marketing phase: a dozen systems have already been successfully deployed on French golf courses. The goal of V2S, the provider of the system, is to market the product worldwide. The company is already investigating opportunities to adapt the system to other sports, for example for practicing the serve in tennis.