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Title:
DIGITAL SYSTEM FOR RESTORING BALLS' POSITIONS WHEN PLAYING TABLE GAMES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/147664
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is in the area of sports, games and competitions and it refers to digital system that helps restore precisely the previous balls' positions when playing table games with balls such as billiard. The problem is solved at figure N°9, and the table (1) is being shot from above by cameras (B), the photo is being processed by a computer (C) and programme (D), and the positions are being extracted and consequently projected as colour circumferences (9) by the computer projector (A) on the table (1) with colour and size that correspond to the balls (2). The cameras (B and B1), the projectors (A), the loudspeaker (6) are connected via cable (7) to the computer (C) and are fixed to the premise ceiling (C), in wireless manner via the remote control (E) with installed programme (F), which is part of the programme (D) and from the user consumer telephone or tablet (8), where the programme is installed (F1), being part of programme (D).

Inventors:
VALKACHOVSKI, Petar (bul. "Hristo Botev" 64, magazin “EDRANET”, 3000 Vratsa, 3005, BG)
Application Number:
BG2017/050001
Publication Date:
September 08, 2017
Filing Date:
February 24, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VALKACHOVSKI, Petar (bul. "Hristo Botev" 64, magazin “EDRANET”, 3000 Vratsa, 3005, BG)
International Classes:
A63D15/00; A63D15/20; A63F13/28
Domestic Patent References:
2008-05-22
Foreign References:
US8992315B22015-03-31
KR20110008585A2011-01-27
KR20090013980A2009-02-06
KR20140090904A2014-07-18
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Claims:
Patent claims

1. Universal digital system for restoring balls' positions when playing table games such as snooker, billiard and other games characterized by the fact that it consists of at least one projector (A), which is placed above the table for playing games with balls (1), and its height allows the light being illuminated (3) to cover fully the game table (1), it is fixed to immovable rack (4), which is assembled to the premise ceiling (5), connected in wireless manner or via cable (7) to the computer system (C), loudspeaker (6) is fixed to immovable rack (4) and is connected in wireless manner or via cable (7) to the computer system (C) which consists of computer box with wireless connection module, in the permanent memory where we have installed operating system with computer programme (D) together with database for the rules of the game, monitor, mouse and keyboard, one or more video-recording cameras (B) are located above the game table (1) at such a height that covers all its area, fixed to immovable rack (4) to the premise ceiling (5), the cameras (Bl) are placed at the sides of the table (1) or/and inside the openings (10) of the table (1), connected in wireless manner or via cable (7) to computer system (C), and via cable (7) cameras (B and Bl), projectors (A) and loudspeaker (6) utilize electric supply, wireless remote control (E), which consists of temporary and permanent memory, and in the latter operating system is installed where a programme is installed (F), which is part of the computer programme (D), navigation buttons, display that is ordinary or sensor one, microprocessor, loudspeaker, rechargeable battery, module for wireless connection with which is it related to the computer system (C) and computer programme (D), computer programme (Fl), being part of the programme (D) is installed in the permanent memory of the consumer telephone or tablet for wireless connection to the computer programme (D) located inside the computer system (C).

2. System according to claim N°l, characterized by the fact that inside the projector (A) a loudspeaker or/and one or more video-recording cameras are in-built.

3. System according to claim JSfol, characterized by the fact that the computer programme (D) installed in the permanent memory of the computer system (C) takes two-dimensional high-resolution pictures and/or video-recording via the cameras for video-surveillance (B and Bl) for the two-dimensional location and/or movement of the balls for playing the game (2) on the table (1), and these data are being stored in the permanent or temporary memory of the computer system (C).

4. System according to claim N_>3, characterized by the fact that the computer programme (D) on the grounds of the photographs located in the permanent or the temporary memory of the computer system (C) and taken by video- recording cameras (B and Bl), calculates in pixels or in some other manner the two-dimensional location of the balls for playing the game (2) onto the game table (1).

5. System according to claim N°3, characterized by the fact that the computer programme (D) on the grounds of the photographs located in the permanent or the temporary memory of the computer system (C), placed there manually or automatically, taken from TV or other frames of other table games with balls, calculates in pixels or in some other manner the two-dimensional location of the balls for playing the game (2) onto the game table (1).

6. System according to any abovementioned claim characterized by the fact that the computer programme (D), via the projectors (A) depicts colour or uni- coloured circumferences (9) on the game table (1) with positions that correspond to the locations of the balls (2) taken from the pictures of the cameras (B or Bl) or from external pictures of balls for playing games (2) that have been added additionally to the permanent memory of the computer system (C).

7. System according to claim JSfo6, characterized by the fact that the computer programme (D), via the projector (A) depicts together with the blinking circumferences or without them additional colours, points, arrows, crosses, other characters or letters on the game table (1), and these lights could be constantly lit or blinking, standing still or moving, while providing alerts related to the game rules and facilitate positioning or/and deciding on the movement of the balls for playing the game (2).

8. System according to claim JSfo 6 and N°7, characterized by the fact that the colour and sizes of the blinking circumferences correspond to the ball that was beforehand at the position on the table.

9. System according to claim N°l, characterized by the fact that the computer programme (D) monitors the movement of the balls for playing the game (2) and everything else that moves on the game table (1), in view of the rules for the particular game inside it, announces in combination or individually via the monitor of the computer system (C), the display, vibration and loudspeaker of wireless remote control (E), the display, loudspeaker and vibration (if any) of the consumer telephone or tablet (8), the light illuminated by the projector (A) or via the loudspeaker (6) game's start and end, records, calculates and announces the result of the game, alerts on committed violation and all other actions related to the rules of the game.

10. System according to claim N°6 H N°7, characterized by the fact that the positions of the blinking circumferences (9) or other lit characters are manually set in advance in the computer programme (D) or they have been calculated by it on the grounds of random or dependent principle.

11. System according to claim Nsl , characterized by the fact that to the computer system (C) we have additionally connected one or more monitors or TVs.

Description:
DIGITAL SYSTEM FOR RESTORING BALLS' POSITIONS WHEN PLAYING TABLE GAMES

Technique area

The invention is in the area of sports, games and competitions and it refers to digital system that helps restore precisely the previous balls' positions when playing table games with balls such as snooker, billiard, pool and other similar competitions.

Preceding technique condition

We are aware of the current ways to restore balls' positions while showing on screen along the TV channels of the "Eurosport" broadcast a photo of the previous locations of balls such as "Double exposure" or overlay of the digital picture of the existing table image on the screen, known as Hawk's Eye. The effect of these solutions is that a picture is provided of balls ' previous location on a monitor next to the table, but the positions are to be judged approximately, operator's assistance is needed behind the monitor that should guide the person who places the ball concerning its previous position. Significant disadvantage is that this takes quite a lot of time, in the case of competitions we need more than one person, we could hardly achieve maximum precision, or compare all balls' positions.

Technical essence of the invention

The technical essence of the invention is about the combination of the known technical devices, together with computer programmes. Its purpose is to create digital system for rapid and as precise as possible restoration of previous balls' positions for table games, if necessary, because of any committed violation or in order to outline a precise position.

The players should undergo training, third person's functions should be replaced, being a referee or a coach, or players' concentration and satisfaction should be improved. The purposes are achieved thanks to universal digital system for restoring balls' positions when playing table games such as snooker, billiard, pool and other games and to this end above the table at suitable height we would assemble high resolution cameras, computer projector and loudspeaker, and the number of cameras and projectors could vary depending on the available assembly space above the table and their technical characteristics. These three technical devices are connected to a computer in wired or wireless manner where a programme is installed for coordinating their operations. The computer is table-top or laptop and it includes the standard components - operating system, monitor, computer box or block, mouse and keyboard. The computer, the projector, the cameras and the loudspeaker are connected to the electric supply via cable that connects them to the computer. The management of cameras, projector and loudspeaker could take place from several places simultaneously. The basic control is being exercised from the computer via mouse and keyboard, it could also be done via wireless remote control with its own operating system where programme was installed that is part of the main computer microprocessor memory - temporary and permanent, vibration, loudspeaker and screen that reacts to touch. Control could also be exercised from player's telephone/tablet where just like in the wireless remote control a programme was installed that resembles the one in the computer and has capacities that are the same or similar to the ones of the remote control.

In order to simplify the system in view of components' number and if the technical assembly conditions allow this, one or more cameras could be assembled inside the projector together with the loudspeaker, just like in table's pockets (openings). The combination of these components in that pattern makes it possible to shoot balls' positions before their rising with high resolution by the cameras and calculate on the grounds of the pictures produced by the computer programme their exact two-dimensional location on the table and then these positions if necessary would be reproduced by the projector in the pattern of blinking colourful circumferences onto the table at the exact positions where the particular balls were located. This way the ball in question could rapidly and with maximum precision be placed by a single person within the blinking circumference. If one ball has different colours, supporting the position could be done by the projector that illuminates additional colours, signs or letters that move, blink or stay statically inside the illuminated circumference or outside it. This could be done since the computer programme has the functions of tracking and recognizing the individual balls, as well as everything else that moves above the table and gets in touch with the balls. If these functions are available, i.e. tracking and recognizing everything that moves and hits the balls, together with database that has been installed in advance on the rules of the particular game, the computer programme could perform the functions of a referee or a coach if rules are violated, while signalling via the loudspeaker or/and speaks out words and sentences recorded in advance, and well as and/or via displayed blinking, moving or constantly illuminating projector light. Additionally, the programme follows up the game results, it calculates the result, announces game start and end. At the sides of the table, somewhat above its level we could place more cameras for balls monitoring where they should not touch each other in violation of game rules. Cameras could be placed inside table's pockets (openings). This is necessary if the player stretches his/her arm above some ball while hiding the visibility from above and touches the ball beneath. This way, if the player touches the ball without moving it, the computer programme would not be able to alert on violation because there would be no difference in the photograph of ball's position before player's leaning and its position and after he steps back and the ball is visible from above.

The main advantages of this digital system are about the digital restoration that could be performed by every person, it is easy and with high precision, concerning the previous positions of many balls on the table. It monitors and calculates the result, issues signal on game beginning and end. In competitive regime it assists the referee with alerts on committed violations, thus helping to arrange the balls. It assists player's training and to this end it could replace the coach. It calculates balls' positions according to pictures that were additionally uploaded in the computer and taken from other games played onto another tables. It calculates random ball combinations or the ones with the highest degree of difficulty according to the different rules inherent to the individual games. One trainee could easily and precisely arrange for himself particular balls, and play out the strike again and again while being sure he performs the exactly defined hit at the balls with one and the same arrangement. Additionally, in view of it the player gets a preliminary notion whether the particular configuration of arranged balls could be played without violating the particular game rules. He could easily get the right spatial idea of balls' interaction while they are moving, and the particular hit is performed many times, with rapid restoration of balls' positions.

Clarifications to the attached figures

Figure N°l presents the digital system in its general plan, if premise's height allows assembling the projector (A) at a height where the light illuminated by it (3) covers the table fully (1).

Figure N°2 presents the same plan with more added projectors (A) and video- recording cameras (B), if premises' height is lower. Figure N°3 presents view from above of projector that illuminates (9) blinking circumference (A) onto table (1)

Figures from N°4 to N28 present the reviewed examples of digital system's applications with the located balls (2). The colours of the balls correspond to their digits as follows: (2.1) - black, (2.2) - pink, (2.3) - blue, (2.4) - brown, (2.5) - white, (2.6) - green, (2.7) - yellow, (2.8) - reds. Figure N°9 presents the table (1) with view at the sides with blinking circumferences illuminated by projectors (A) onto the table (1).

Examples of inventions' execution

Two exemplary situations of invention's execution of the snooker game are presented at figures N°4, Ν«5, Ng6, N_?7 H N°8, and these examples are not exhaustive of its all applications.

In the first example presented via figures N°4 and N°5 we have shown the version where violation of the rules is committed and it is hardly noticeable while hitting the ball (2.7) to which another one is located (2.6) and the hit (11) to human eye looks like simultaneous hit at the two balls, standing next to each other. Figure N°4 presents the table from above with three balls that are of white colour, designated with (2.5), yellow one with (2.7) and (2.6) is green. Figure N°2 presents the table from aside and the following are assembled above it, to the premise ceiling (5) via a rack: (4) two computer projectors (A), 3 video-recording cameras (B) and one loudspeaker (6), which are connected via cable (7) to the computer system (C). At the table sides (1) we have placed another four video-recording cameras (Bl) near its edges and somewhat above its level, and the cable (7) is being used for electric supply of all the devices. Video-recording cameras (Bl) could be assembled inside the openings (10) of the table (1). Inside the permanent memory of the computer system (C) we have installed operating system where we have installed a programme (D) together with database for the rules of the game. The computer programme (D) has calibrated the image being shot by the cameras (B) and (Bl) and the light illuminated (3) by the projectors before the start of the hit, it took picture of the table (1) with the located balls (2.5, 2.6 and 2.7), it calculated their two- dimensional positions and follows each and every movement above the table (1). Once the player leans above the table (1), the programme recognizes the stick being the only permissible device to produce a hit at the white ball (2.5) and monitors whether the player is going to produce a hit with it (2.5). It follows all other balls on the table, if there are any, if these are going to be touched or hit by something before the legitimate hit at the white ball (2.5). It has recognized the balls on the table as colours and monitors according to the rules the ball that should be the first hit and which balls could get in the openings (10) of the table (1).

The purpose of this configuration - figure N«4 of balls (2.5, 2.6 and 2.7) is producing a hit at the white one (2.5) so that it could hit the yellow one (2.7) and the latter would fall in the upper right opening (10) of the table (1). The player approaches the table

(I) , leans above it and after hitting the white ball with his stick (2.5) sends it to the target yellow ball (2.7). The computer programme (D) has analysed every action of the player and has not established inaccurate hit or touching another ball anyhow. In the case of strong hit at the white ball produced by the stick, the programme starts following its movement while taking fast consecutive high resolution photos. Once the white ball along its pathway (10) - figure N°5 reaches the yellow one (2.7) and we have the green ball in proximity (2.6), ithits (11) the green one first (2.6) and then the yellow ball (2.7). The human eye is not capable of defining the ball that was first hit because of the high speed with which the white ball is moving (2.5) and the proximity of the other two balls (2.6 and 2.7). In this case human discretion is subjective and unreliable. But thanks to the taken fast consecutive high resolution photos the computer programme (D) defines that the green one was the first hit (2.6) and in view of the set rules of the game it makes a warning sound followed by the phrase "Fault at the green ball" via the loudspeaker (6) on the committed violation. Simultaneously, via the computer projectors (A) it presents blinking circumferences (9) that correspond to the three balls (2.5, 2.6 and 2.7) in view of their size and colour while recreating their positions - figure N°5, when the white ball (2.5) hits (11) the green one inaccurately (2.6). The white circumference shows the time of the hit (11), while the green circumference blinks consecutively and shows the inaccurate contact.

(II) . Because of the violation the balls (2.5, 2.6 and 2.7) should be played anew, while recreating them as accurately as possible compared to their original positions. This could be done if one player or if there is a referee via the wireless remote control (E) chooses the photograph from the memory of the computer system (C) with the location of the balls (2.5, 2.6 and 2.7) before the hit produced at the white one (2.5) and orders the computer programme (D) to depict via the projectors (A) the blinking colour circumferences (9) onto the table (1) on figure N°4.

The other example of applying the digital system is presented at figures N°6, Ν°7 and N°8 with configuration of six colour and eight red balls as follows: (2.5) - white, (2.1) - black, (2.2) - pink, (2.3) - blue, (2.4) - brown, (2.6) - green, (2.7) - yellow and with number (2.8) all of them are red. Just like the previous example, figure N°2 presents the table with the view at its sides, and the following are assembled above it, to the premise ceiling (5) via a rack: (4) two computer projectors (A), 3 video- recording cameras (B) and one loudspeaker (6), which are connected via cable (7) to the computer system (C). Additionally, we have placed another four video- recording cameras (Bl) which are placed at its sides (1) near its four boards and somewhat above its level, and these are interconnected via cable (7) to the computer system (C). Cable (7) provides the electric supply for the devices. Inside the permanent memory of the computer system (C) we have installed operating system where we have installed a programme (D) together with database for the rules of the game. The computer programme (D) has calibrated the image being shot by the cameras and the light illuminated (3) by the projectors before the start of the hit, it took picture of the table (1) with all the fifteen located balls, it calculated their two-dimensional positions and follows each and every movement above the table (1). Once the player leans above the table (1), the programme recognizes the stick being the only permissible device to produce a hit at the white ball (2.5) and monitors whether the player is going to produce a hit with it at the white ball (2.5). It follows all other balls on the table, if these are going to be touched or hit by something before the legitimate hit at the white ball (2.5). It has recognized the balls on the table as colours and monitors according to the rules the ball that should be the first hit and which balls could get in the openings (10) of the table (1). With the present balls location (2), with the previous hit at the table (1), the player has realized red ball and now he has to hit with the white one (2.5) at some of the colour ones that would fall in some table holes (1). The player leans with his stick above the table, figure N°6, at its upper board where balls (2.6 and 2.7) are located, he hits with Ms stickthe white ball (2.5) and directs it with strong push towards ball (2.3), which falls in opening (10) of the table. All other balls (2) stay on the table (1), and as a result of white ball's strong movement (2.5) they take up other random positions on the table (1) presented at figure N°7. The computer programme (D) had monitored the movements of the player and the balls (2) via the video-recording cameras (B and Bl) and it had established that balls' movement and one of them falling in the opening are the right ones, but it had also recorded violation of player's touch via his clothing onto ball (2.6) while performing the hit. Hence it proclaims the hit as inaccurate and provides an alert via the loudspeaker (6) which consists of warning signal followed by pronouncing the violation - "Fault - touching the green ball" together with blinking red circumference on the position of the green ball (2.3), depicting the place where the violation was committed. After the violation was established, the players decide on performing the hit once again, and to this end all the 15 balls should be replaced to their original positions. To this end some player or if there is a referee via the wireless remote control (E) chooses the photograph from the memory of the computer system (C) with the location of the balls (2) before the hit and via the projectors (A) the computer programme (D) depicts the blinking colour circumferences at the places taken by the balls (2) onto the table (1). The colours and diameter of the circumferences correspond to the balls and are presented at figure N°8 with dotted circular line and their numbering from (N°9.21 to N°9.28) corresponds to the numbers of the colour and red balls (2). For example, the blinking lit position (9.21) corresponds to the black ball (2.1), (9.28) to the red one (2.8) etc. The player or the referee if any could easily and rapidly locate all the fifteen balls (2) at their original positions in the colour blinking lit circumferences (9). After placing the particular ball at its place, the computer programme blinks at the light thus alerting the person performing the arrangement that the ball is already at its original position. After all balls (2) are placed where they were, via the wireless remote control (E) we switch off the blinking circumferences or the computer programme (D) switches them off automatically and the game could continue. Application (use) of the invention

The use of the universal digital system for restoring balls' positions when playing table games such as snooker, billiard, pool and other games takes place via developed individual computer programme that follows the uniform logics according to the rules of the particular game set in advance and it is installed in the operating system of the computer. The electric supply for the table-top computer or laptop, projectors and cameras is standard AC of 220 volts and in view of the remote control we use rechargeable batteries. It is commissioned, controlled and switched off from the main computer terminal, and in order to facilitate one's work we use remote control that is with LCD screen, it has microprocessor, memory where programme is installed and it is part of the main vibration, loudspeaker and navigation buttons for operating it. In order to facilitate one's work it is possible to operate it while pressing on the screen. In the capacity of additional remote control for wireless system control we could use consumer telephone or the tablet of the player with the same or similar characteristics. Inside it just like in the remote control we have installed a programme that is part of the main computer programme (D). The wireless remote control and the user device are also being used for illumination by the computer programme via the displays, loudspeakers and their vibrations for events and for what is going on during the game. The monitor of the computer system could be used as digital board for following the result of the game, after arranging it at suitable place or assembling one or more monitors or TVs to the computer.