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Title:
MIXED REALITY SPORT SIMULATION AND TRAINING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/165284
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mixed reality sport simulation and training system that can use, along with a user's existing standard sports equipment, a launch monitor to track the initial positional data, spin and acceleration of a sport object, and simulate the complete object path and location or use complete object tracking data and displays the actual object path and location. Mixed reality glasses allow the display of object tracking data over the real world view and/or an immersive display of a simulated world view, depending on the user's head or view position. Sport simulation graphical views can include various options, including simulated or panoramic photographic views of a sports field, court, etc., simulated graphics and data superimposed over a real world view, or simple object tracking data superimposed over a real world view at any location.

Inventors:
KUDIRKA, Thomas (7914 W Dodge Road, Omaha, Nebraska, 68114, US)
BENNETT, Patrick J. (7914 W Dodge Road, Omaha, Nebraska, 68114, US)
Application Number:
US2018/021323
Publication Date:
September 13, 2018
Filing Date:
March 07, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
VSPORTS, LLC (7914 W Dodge Road, Omaha, Nebraska, 68114, US)
International Classes:
A63F13/5258; A63F13/573
Foreign References:
US20130095924A12013-04-18
US20140287806A12014-09-25
US20140038750A12014-02-06
US20130137076A12013-05-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BECKER, Jordan M. et al. (Perkins Coie LLP - PAO, P.O. Box 1247Seattle, Washington, 98111-1247, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

What is claimed is:

1 , A method comprising:

receiving, by a near-eye display (NED) device, object tracking data from a launch monitor in real-time, in response to a sport object being launched by a user, the object tracking data being indicative of movement of the sport object after the sport object has been launched by the user;

providing the object tracking data to a display subsystem of the NED device, the display subsystem allowing the user to have a real world view of a real world environment in which the user is located; and

causing the display subsystem of the NED device to display sport simulation images over at least a portion of the user's real world view in real-time based on the object tracking data.

2. A method as recited in claim 1 , wherein receiving the sport object tracking data comprises receiving the sport object tracking data over a wireless communication link. 3. A method as recited in claim 1 , wherein the sport simulation images include data indicative of at least one of:

a path of the sport object;

a speed of the sport object;

an angle of the movement of the sport object;

a distance traveled by the sport object; or

a location where the sport object has come to rest after having been launched by the user.

4. A method as recited in claim 1 , wherein the sport simulation images include data indicative of each of:

a path of the sport object;

a speed of the sport object;

an angle of the movement of the sport object;

a distance traveled by the sport object; and a location where the sport object has come to rest after having been launched by the user.

5. A method as recited in claim 1 , wherein the sport simulation images include mixed reality images of a playing field for a sport.

6. A method as recited in claim 1 , wherein the sport simulation images include mixed reality images of a playing field for a sport based on a 3D rendered version of a playing field.

7. A method as recited in claim 1 , wherein the sport simulation images include mixed reality images of a playing field for a sport based on a digitally stored photograph of a real world playing field. 8. A method as recited in claim 1 , further comprising:

determining a head orientation of the user based on data from a head orientation sensor; and

automatically switching between:

providing an unobstructed view of the sport object when the user's head is determined to be facing a location from which the sport object is to be launched; and

displaying a mixed reality image of a target area when the users head is determined to be facing in a direction of the target area. 9, A method as recited in claim 8, wherein the mixed reality image of the target area comprises an image of a real playing field.

10. A method as recited in claim 1 , further comprising:

causing the system to output to the user visual instructional feedback related to the movement of the user.

1 1 . A method as recited in claim 1 , further comprising:

causing the display subsystem to display player avatars of the user and/ or other players over the user's real world view.

12. A method as recited in claim 1 , further comprising receiving user inputs from the user via a user device that is external to said system.

13. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system comprising:

a near-eye display subsystem designed for mixed reality display;

a receiver configured to receive object tracking data from a launch monitor in real-time, the object tracking data being indicative of movement of a sport object launched by a user after the sport object has been launched by the user; and

at least one processor configured to cause the display subsystem to display mixed reality images to the user in real-time based on the object tracking data.

14. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a wireless communication device to receive the sport object tracking data from the sport object launch monitor.

15. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the mixed reality images include sport simulation data displayed over the user's real world view. 16. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the mixed reality images include data indicative of at least one of:

a flight path of the sport object;

a speed of the sport object;

an angle of the movement of the sport object;

a distance traveled by the sport object; or

a location where the sport object has come to rest after having been launched by the user.

17, A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the mixed reality images include data indicative of each of:

a flight path of the sport object;

a speed of the sport object;

an angle of the movement of the sport object;

a distance traveled by the sport object; and a location where the sport object has come to rest after having been launched by the user.

18. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to cause the display subsystem to display mixed reality images of a playing field.

19. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the at least one processor is further configured to cause the display subsystem to display mixed reality images of a playing field based on a digitally stored photograph of a real world playing field.

20. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a head orientation sensor to output data for use in determining a head orientation of the user, wherein the system is configured to:

determine the head orientation of the user based on data from the head orientation sensor; and

automatically switch between:

providing an unobstructed view of the sport object when the user's head is determined to be facing a location from which the bail is to be launched; and displaying an AR image of a target area when the user's head is determined to be facing in a direction of the target area.

21 . A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 20, wherein the mixed reality image of the target area comprises a virtual image of a real playing field.

22. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the at least one processor is further configured cause the system to output to the user visual instructional feedback regarding a launch motion of the user.

23. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, wherein the at least one processor is configured to display player avatars of other players over the user's real world view. 24, A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a user interface configured to receive inputs from the user.

25. A mixed reality sport simulation and training system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a communication interface to receive user inputs from the user via a user device that is external to said system.

26. A near-eye display (NED) device comprising:

a display subsystem that enables a user to have a real world view of a real world environment in which the user is located;

means for receiving sport object tracking data from a launch monitor in realtime, the sport object tracking data being indicative of movement of a sport object after the sport object has been launched by the user;

means for providing the sport object tracking data to the display subsystem; and

means for causing the display subsystem of the NED device to display sport simulation images over at least a portion of the user's real world view in real-time based on the sport object tracking data.

Description:
MIXED REALITY SPORT SIMULATION AND TRAINING SYSTEM

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application no. 82/468,044 filed on March 7, 2017, U.S. provisional patent application no. 62/51 1 ,857 filed on May 26, 2017, U.S. provisional patent application no. 62/516, 155 filed on June 7, 2017, U.S. provisional patent application no. 62/520, 127 filed on June 15, 2017, U.S. provisional patent application no. 62/590,556 filed on November 25, 2017, and U.S. provisional patent application no. 62/577,551 filed on October 26, 2017, each of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to sport simulation, and more particularly, to a mixed reality sport simulation and training system. BACKGROUND

[0003] Sports enthusiasts do not always have access to a proper sports field, court, etc. when they wish to play their sports. Accordingly, sports computer games enjoy great popularity. However, sports computer games are limited in their degree of realism, and therefore, in their ability to entertain the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Figure 1 shows an example of mixed reality glasses.

[0005] Figure 2 is a block diagram showing an example of the components of mixed reality glasses.

[0006] Figure 3 shows an exploded view of an example of an electronic golf bail.

[0007] Figure 4 is a block diagram showing an example of the internal functional components of the electronic ball.

[0008] Figure 5 shows a stand-alone ball launch monitor.

[0009] Figure 6 is a block diagram showing an example of the infernal components of the stand-alone bail launch monitor.

[0010] Figure 7 is a diagram showing a configuration with a ball launch monitor, regulation golf ball, bail capture net and mixed reality glasses. [0011] Figure 8 illustrates an example of the user's view of a regulation golf ball when looking down in preparation to hit the ball through the mixed reality glasses, showing an unobstructed real world view of the bail.

[0012] Figure 9 illustrates an example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses when the user looks up after hitting the ball, including the head-up display (HUD) and 360° virtual world displaying a golf course.

[0013] Figure 10 illustrates an example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses while in the Virtual Range mode.

[0014] Figure 1 1 shows an example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses while in the Virtual Caddy mode, with the HUD displaying ball tracking data superimposed over the real world view visible when the user looks up after hitting the bail.

[0015] Figure 12 is a drawing showing an example of the system configuration for the Virtual Instructor mode.

[0016] Figure 13 is a drawing showing the users view through the mixed reality glasses of a 3D virtual avatar displayed during the Virtual Instructor mode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] The following detailed description focuses on the sport of golf for purposes of explanation. Note, however, that the principles introduced here can also be applied in a manner similar to that described herein to provide mixed reality experiences for other sports, such as football, soccer, baseball, tennis, hockey, etc.

[0018] Current golf simulation technology is limited to projection screens, computer monitors and hand-held displays. These options are limited in their degree of realism, and therefore, in their ability to be entertaining or useful to the user. A mixed reality golf simulation and training system, on the other hand, blends the real world with a virtual overlay when viewed with mixed reality glasses, and therefore can be much more entertaining and/or instructive to a user, as described further below.

[0019] The present disclosure includes a mixed reality golf simulation and training system ("the system") that provides greatly increased realism and usefulness for purposes of golf practice, instruction or entertainment. In at least some embodiments, the system also includes augmented reality (AR) display capability. The term "mixed reality," as used herein, refers to a visualization technique in which a near-eye display (NED) device uses a display element that is at least partially transparent to overlay (superimpose) computer-generated (virtual) images on at least a portion of the user's field of view of the real world, where the overlaid images are positionaiiy anchored to the real-world. The term "augmented reality," as used herein, refers to a visualization technique in which an NED device uses a display element that is at least partially transparent to overlay (superimpose) computer- generated (virtual) images on at least a portion of the user's field of view of the real world, where the overlaid images are not positionaiiy anchored to the real-world. In the case of either mixed reality or AR display, the overlaid ("virtual") images may be opaque, such that they completely obscure at least a portion of the user's view of the real world, while in other instances, the overlaid images may be partially transparent. In some instances, the overlaid images may cover the users entire field of view and/or may completely obscure the users view of the real world.

[0020] The system uses mixed reality glasses as the primary visual feedback to the user. The user can use regulation golf clubs, golf balls and practice mats with the system. An active golf bail launch monitor, electronic ball, tethered ball motion sensor, or any other ball motion measurement device, provides the tracking and flight analysis that is used by system software to visually display the shot in a virtual golf course or driving range. The mixed reality glasses allow a user to see simultaneously the golf ball and a visual overlay of the golf course in relation to the user's visual orientation. Additionally, the mixed reality glasses provide a visual overlay of the tracking and motion analysis data over the real-world view from balls hit with or without a net. This supports virtual data display of the bail motion and tracking data, as well as game play elements, as the user hits the ball in a real world environment, such as on a golf course or at a driving range. As the user changes their visual orientation, the virtual course is updated to show the virtual environment in the proper orientation or the virtual data and game play elements are displayed in proper orientation over the real world view.

[0021] The system enables a user to hit an actual golf bail in a limited environment, or in a full course or driving range environment, and obtain visual feedback of what the golf ball trajectory would be on a real golf course. The visual feedback is displayed to the user though the mixed reality glasses. The visual feedback, including both golf ball and club data, and virtual environment display can be used as an entertainment device. The user can virtually play a round of golf, or hit multiple shots at a particular hole or practice driving in a virtual driving range, or the user can play an actual golf course or practice at an actual driving range and use the system to virtually display the ball motion and tracking data over the real world view. The display can also include additional elements, such as game play elements for entertainment value.

[0022] There are several advantages to the system over the existing technology. The mixed reality glasses provide a small, portable visual feedback system that is not available with systems utilizing projection screens or larger computer monitors. The mixed reality glasses also provide a virtual environment that is properly oriented to the user's field of view and orientation, which is not available with existing systems using large for smaller portable displays. The mixed reality glasses further provide sensor feedback that can be used to properly train the user to keep their head still and to keep looking at the ball during the shot, which is not available with existing systems.

[0023] The system supports several alternative modes of operation, including Virtual range, Virtual Caddy, Virtual Course, and Virtual Instructor. Each of these modes of operation supports the use of mixed reality glasses to provide visual feedback of the bail tracking data and simulation graphics supporting the simulation. System Architecture and Components

[0024] Referring first to Figure 7, the mixed reality golf simulation and training system in at least one embodiment has two main components: mixed reality glasses 100, which the user 400 wears, and a golf bail launch monitor (or similar motion tracking device) 200. These two components 100 and 200 may be used in combination with the user's own, standard golf equipment, including a golf club 401 , a regulation golf bail 403 and a golf ball shot distance limiting device 402 such as a net.

[0025] The mixed reality golf simulation and training system includes mixed reality glasses 100, also called a headset, head-mounted display (HMD) device or NED device, which include the display elements main user interface and graphics processor. Figure 1 shows an example of the mixed reality glasses 100, the functional components of which are shown in the block diagram of Figure 2. The mixed reality glasses 100 include an NED display subsystem that includes a left eye NED element 101 and a right eye NED element 102 that are either fully or semitransparent, or fully opaque depending on the software application (i.e., they may provide variable transparency, such as through selective polarization of light). Software for performing operations of the mixed reality glasses 100 can reside in a memory 1 15, but may alternatively or additionally reside in an external processing system that communicates with the mixed reality glasses 100 through a wired communication interface 108 or wireless communication interface 1 10, 1 1 1 , 1 12. In some embodiments, the main graphics and application processor 103 may include on-chip memory (not shown) that stores instructions and/or data for carrying out at least some of the operations of the mixed reality glasses 100.

[0026] In at least one embodiment, the main graphics and application processor 103 controls and coordinates the overall operation of the system, including coordination of the operations of other components of the mixed reality glasses 100, processing of data received from other components, and generation and/or pre- processing of data for display by the display elements 101 , 102. The main graphics and application processor 103 can be or include, for example: one or more programmable microprocessors, microcontrollers, or the like: hardwired logic circuitry such as one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), or the like; or any combination of programmable device(s) and/or hardwired logic device(s). Memory 1 15 may be or include one or more physical memory devices, each of which can be a type of random access memory (RAM), such as dynamic RAM (DRAM) or static RAM (SRAM), read-only memory (ROM), which may be programmable, such as flash memory, or any combination thereof. The term "software," as used herein, is intended to include any sequence of instructions stored in a non-transitory machine- readable medium and for execution by a programmable processor, including firmware.

[0027] The mixed reality glasses 100 in the illustrated embodiment also include one or more sensors for position detection in three-dimensional space, including an inertial measurement unit (IMU) 104 for sensing angular and/or linear rate of change and/or magnetic orientation. Additional sensors may include an integrated camera 105 for photometric positional detection and Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors 106 for satellite detection of position of the mixed reality glasses 100 relative to the earth. [0028] The mixed reality glasses 100 may also include an audio output 107 component, which may include an audio amplifier and speaker or earphones, to provide audio feedback to the user, which may include voice narration or commands, or sound effects to provide audio ques or sound effects to further enhance the user experience. The mixed reality glasses may include a microphone 109 that allows the user to provide voice commands to the application and may monitor external sounds, such as the ball being hit, to provide additional feedback to the software application.

[0029] The mixed reality glasses 100 may communicate with the bail launch monitor 200, an electronic bail 300 (Figure 3) and/or an external processor using one or more wireless communication interfaces 1 10, 1 1 1 . These interfaces may include, for example, a Wi-Fi transceiver 1 10, Bluetooth transceiver 1 1 1 (e.g., Bluetooth 4,0 or 5.0). The mixed reality glasses 100 may additionally or alternatively include a custom alternate wireless interface 1 12 that utilizes public wireless frequencies, such as 900 MHz that allow for spread spectrum frequency hopping digital interface to provide a longer range (e.g., up to 20 miles) wireless link that is more immune to wireless interference, for communication to other glasses or a main data station.

[0030] The mixed reality glasses 100 may include a user interface 1 13 that may include a plurality of physical buttons, sliders, toggle switches or touch sensors. This interface will allow the user to startup, initialize, setup and operate the basic functions of the glasses and/or the user software application. The mixed reality glasses 100 may also include a user interface based on spoken commands input via the microphone 109.

[0031] The mixed reality glasses 100 may include a battery and battery charging circuit 1 14. The batteries may be one of several current battery technologies including rechargeable lithium ion or nickel-cadmium batteries or replaceable alkaline batteries. The battery charging circuit can connect to an external charging voltage source using a wired connection or a wireless charging pad.

[0032] As mentioned above, the system can include a stand-alone bail launch monitor 200 (Figure 7) to track the ball's position, speed and other pertinent data to provide an accurate representation and simulation of the bail flight and landing profile. The user's mixed reality glasses 100 display in real-time (i.e., immediately after the ball is hit) the ball position, speed and other pertinent data and provide an accurate graphical representation and simulation of the ball flight and landing profile. An example of a launch monitor is shown in Figures 5 and 6. Today there are several manufacturers of off-the-shelf bail launch monitors that use different technologies to track and provide data parameters, including companies such as FiightScope, Trackman, Foresight Sports and Ernest Sports, etc.

[0033] The launch monitor 200 includes several functional components, including a main application processor 202 which, in at least some embodiments, can execute a software application. The software may be stored in memory 213 coupled to or located in the application processor 202. The launch monitor 200 may also include a display 201 and a user interface 21 1 for providing a way for the user to set up, operate and view data from the launch monitor 200. The display 201 may be, for example, a monochrome or color liquid crystal display (LCD) or organic light emitting diode (OLED) type display, with or without a touchscreen input capability. The user interface 21 1 may include various buttons, sliders, toggle switches or touch panels to allow the user to select functions and control the software application settings and operations.

[0034] In some embodiments, the application processor 202 may include on- chip memory (not shown) that stores instructions and/or data for carrying out at least some of the operations of the launch monitor 200. In at least one embodiment, the application processor 202 controls and coordinates the overall operation of the launch monitor 200, including coordination of the operations of other components of the application processor 202, processing of data received from other components, and generation and/or pre-processing of data for display and/or for transmission to the mixed reality glasses 100. The application processor 202 can be or include, for example: one or more programmable microprocessors, microcontrollers, or the like: hardwired logic circuitry such as one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), or the like; or any combination of programmable device(s) and/or hardwired logic device(s). Memory 213 may be or include one or more physical memory devices, each of which can be a type of random access memory (RAM), such as dynamic RAM (DRAM) or static RAM (SRAM), read-only memory (ROM), which may be programmable, such as flash memory, or any combination thereof.

[0035] The launch monitor may also include one or more electromagnetic sensors to determine the ball's location, spin and acceleration, and/or the club location, orientation and acceleration, ail of which is processed by the software application to determine the data associated with the predicted ball flight and landing profile. These sensors may include a Doppier radar subsystem 203 for use to determine the ball and/or club position and speed, a camera 204 for use as a photometric measurement device to determine the ball and/or club location, speed, spin and various other data that can be determined from a photometric measurement, or Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) subsystem 206 for highly accurate laser range finding to determine with greater precision the ball and/or club location, speed, spin and acceleration. The sensors may inciude a GPS 205 satellite receiver used to determine the bail launch monitor position relative to the earth. The sensors may also include a tethered ball sensor 207 that uses a ball attached to a string or other tether which is attached to a base allowing the ball to be hit without a net. The ball tether is attached to a sensor, or the bail passes by a sensor in the base that measures the ball location, speed, spin and acceleration. The sensors may also inciude a level sensor 208 used to ensure that the launch monitor is properly and/or automatically leveled relative to the ground, which further ensures other sensors' accuracy and repeatability.

[0036] The launch monitor may communicate with the mixed reality glasses 100 by one or more wireless communication interfaces 209, 210. These interfaces may include, for example, a Wi~Fi transceiver 209 or a Bluetooth transceiver 210 implementing one of the recent versions of Bluetooth (e.g. , Bluetooth 4.0 or 5,0).

[0037] The launch monitor 200 may also inciude a battery and battery charging circuit 212. The batteries may be one of several current battery technologies, including rechargeable lithium ion or nickel-cadmium batteries or replaceable alkaline batteries. The battery charging circuit can connect to an external charging voltage source using a wired connection or a wireless charging pad. Alternatively, the launch monitor 200 may include only a wired power connection to an external power source such as a low voltage DC power converter or external battery pack.

[0038] As an alternative to a stand-alone bail launch monitor 200 (Figure 7), the system can instead utilize an "electronic ball," i.e., a ball that is essentially standard in materials and construction except that it includes internal circuitry that internally tracks the bail's position, spin, acceleration and other data, and transmits that information to the user's mixed reality glasses 100 in real-time via a wireless link. Hence, an electronic ball serves as its own launch monitor. The user's mixed reality glasses 100 display in real-time (i.e., immediately after the ball is hit) the bail position, speed and other pertinent data and provides an accurate graphical representation and simulation of the ball flight and landing profile.

[0039] An example of such an electronic ball is shown in Figures 3 and 4. The electronic ball 300 includes several functional components, including a main application processor 301 that executes the software application to convert raw sensor data into ball position, speed, spin and other pertinent data. The software may be stored in a memory (not shown) located in or coupled to the application processor 301 . In at least one embodiment, the application processor 301 controls and coordinates operation of the functional elements within the ball 300. The application processor 301 can be or include, for example: one or more programmable microprocessors, microcontrollers, or the like: hardwired logic circuitry such as one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), or the like; or any combination of programmable device(s) and/or hardwired logic device(s).

[0040] The electronic bail 300 may also include one or more electromagnetic sensors used to determine the bail location, spin and acceleration, and other data, ail of which is processed by the software application to predict the ball flight and landing profile. These sensors may include, for example, an IMU 302 that measures bail linear and/or angular acceleration, magnetic orientation and other inertial measurements. The sensors may also include a GPS receiver 303 used to determine the bail's position relative to the earth.

[0041] The electronic ball 300 may communicate with the user's mixed reality glasses 100 using one or more wireless communication interfaces. These may include a Wi-Fi transceiver 304 or a Bluetooth transceiver 305 implementing one of the recent versions of Bluetooth (e.g., Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0).

[0042] The electronic bail 300 may include a battery and battery charging circuit 306. The batteries may be one of several current battery technologies including rechargeable lithium ion or nickel-cadmium batteries. The battery charging circuit can connect to an external charging voltage source using wireless charging pad or bail holder.

System Operation [0043] The system transmits multiple ball position and tracking data from a launch monitor to the mixed reality glasses 100. This data includes parameters that are captured by a stand-alone ball launch monitor 200 or internally by an electronic bail 300. The raw captured data parameters are processed in the ball launch monitor or in the electronic bail into usable parameters that can be processed by the mixed reality glasses 100. These parameters can be transmitted to the mixed reality glasses 100 using one or more standard wireless communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

[0044] With a stand-alone ball launch monitor 200, the parameters that are processed and wirelessly transmitted to the mixed reality glasses 100 can include the following: Vertical Launch Angle, Horizontal Launch Angle, Vertical Descent Angle, Smash Factor, Spin Rate, Spin Axis, Carry Distance, Roil Distance, Total Distance, Lateral Landing, Apex Height, Flight Time, Shot Dispersion, Shot Distance to Pin, Skills Score, Low point, Club Speed, Club Speed Profile, Club Acceleration Profile, Face to Path, Face to Target, Dynamic Loft, Angle of Attack, Club Path, Spin Loft, Swing Plane Horizontal, Swing Plane Vertical.

[0045] With an electronic bail 300, the parameters that are processed and wirelessly transmitted to the mixed reality glasses can include the following: GPS Location, Distance of Roll, Spin Rate, Distance to Pin, Time and Distance of Carry, GPS Point of Gary End, Ball Speed, Angle of Descent, Carry Flight Path, Draw/Fade/ Altitude High Delta, Carry Height Apex.

[0046] The golf ball's flight path can be represented within the system by a polynomial, using known techniques. This polynomial can be evaluated and processed by a processor in the mixed reality glasses 100 (e.g., graphics and application processor 103) until the simulated ball path intersects a polygon mesh representing the ground. Standard rigid body physics calculations can then be performed to simulate the ball track along the ground polygon mesh.

[0047] The system may include software algorithms and/or hardwired logic that can use gyroscope/accelerometer/compass data to determine head rotation and a gravity sensor to determine the down direction. This data can be processed with, for example, a sensor fusion Kalman filter function or using functions of the Unity graphical software develop tool. The ball's flight path is then processed to generate various data that is displayed to the user, such as ball velocity, launch angle, bail spin, etc. These functions can be implemented, at least in part, by the graphics and application processor 103 of the mixed reality glasses 100.

[0048] The mixed reality glasses 100 provide both visual data and visual environment feedback to the user. The data feedback can include golf simulation data, such as statistics on the shot itself, such as ball speed, distance traveled, spin rate, spin orientation, golf club speed, and club orientation. The visual environment feedback can include displaying a fully immersive virtual environment to the user to allow the user to see the golf course or driving range (or any other type of playing field, e.g., if the system is implementing a virtual sport other than golf) as if the user were actually there and/or as virtual data overlaid on the user's real world view. The virtual environment may include computer generated models or computer enhanced photographic representations of a real golf course. Hence, the user's view of a virtual golf course or driving range (or other type of playing field, court, etc.) through the mixed reality glasses 100 can be based on a 3D rendered version of a golf course or driving range, or digital photos of a real golf course or driving range, or a combination of 3D rendering and digital photographic data. Alternatively, the bail motion and tracking data can be overlaid on the user's real world view.

[0049] One or more 360° panoramic photos of a real golf course (or multiple golf courses) can be digitally encoded and stored in memory in the mixed reality glasses 100, e.g., in equirectangular format, and rendered onto a graphical sphere for display. The user's viewpoint (i.e., a virtual camera) can be computationally located at the center of this virtual sphere. The 360° panoramic photos can be identified by GPS coordinates and can be loaded according to the physical ball location in the real world.

[0050] The system enables the user to hit an actual golf ball within a limited physical space, or on a full course or driving range, and obtain realistic visual feedback of what the golf ball trajectory would be on a real golf course. The visual feedback is displayed to the user by the mixed reality glasses 100. The visual feedback, which can include golf bail data and club data, and the virtual environment display can be used as an entertainment device. The user can virtually play a round of golf, or hit multiple shots at a particular hole or practice driving in a virtual driving range, or the user can play an actual golf course or practice at an actual driving range and use the system to virtually display the ball motion and tracking data over the real world view. The display can also include additional elements, such as game play elements for entertainment value.

[0051] In some embodiments and/or operational modes, the displayed virtual images (e.g., images of a virtual golf course) will appear to the user only when the user looks in a specific direction, such as the direction that the user has calibrated the mixed reality glasses to correspond to the direction of the hole. When the user looks in any other direction, the mixed reality images will not be displayed (except that certain AR data may be displayed near the edge of the user's field of view), such that his view of the real world will be mostly or completely unobstructed. Hence, when the user is looking down at the ball getting ready to swing, the user sees an unobstructed view of the ball and the surrounding ground; but as soon as the user looks up in the direction of the hole (i.e., the "target area " ), the mixed reality images of the golf course will appear instantly, or nearly instantly, overlaid on or in place of the user's view of the real world. In at least some embodiments, it may be desirable to provide a user-perceptible transition (e.g., fade-in/out) from a non-display state to display state (and vice versa) of those images, to improve the user's visual comfort, since an instantaneous visual transition may be disconcerting to the user.

[0052] Figure 8 illustrates an example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses 100 of a regulation golf bail when looking down in preparation to hit the ball, showing an unobstructed real world view of the bail. In contrast, Figure 9 illustrates a corresponding example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses 100 when the user looks up after hitting the ball, including the panoramic view of a virtual golf course and head-up display (HUD) elements 901 - 908 that include golf simulation data. In this example view, the displayed images completely block the user's view of the real world. In other instances, however, it may be desirable for the displayed images to cover only part of the user's field of view and/or to make at least some of the displayed images partially transparent.

[0053] The system also enables multiple users to connect in a common virtual environment. Users separated by distance, but operating the system at the same time, can thereby play against each other, or as a team against other teams, in a virtual golf contest. Each user will see the virtual environment from their own individual perspective. Moving avatars of the other players can be displayed to each user. Avatars may be customizable, standardized or may represent popular professional golfers. Avatars movements may closely replicate the general orientation of the user especially the orientation and movement of the user's head by using the Mixed reality glasses sensors.

[0054] A user operates and controls the system though a user interface that can include physical buttons (not shown) on the mixed reality glasses 100 and/or alternative input devices, such as hand gesture and/or voice command recognition. The user input device(s) may be on the mixed reality glasses 100 and/or in a separate hand-held device (not shown) that communicates wired or wireiessly with the system, such as the user's smartphone, watch or local computer system.

[0055] In at least some embodiments, the system provides several modes of operation, including a Virtual Range mode, a Virtual Caddy mode, a Virtual Course mode and a Virtual Instructor mode. Each of these modes of operation supports the use of mixed reality glasses 100 to provide visual feedback of the bail tracking data and simulation graphics.

[0056] The Virtual Range mode supports simulated graphics and bail tracking data superimposed on the real world view while using a real golf driving range or while hitting into a net. The simulated graphics may include a variety of animated targets and other entertainment style game play options. Figure 10 illustrates an example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses while using the Virtual Range mode. The view includes virtual graphical data, such as simulated targets 1001 and HUD data 1002, within a completely virtualized golf driving range or superimposed over the user's real world view of a real driving range, to enhance golf play at a driving range or other location.

[0057] In one embodiment of the Virtual Range mode the user experience is enhanced when hitting golf balls at a real driving range. The user operates the system by first turning on the mixed reality glasses 100, then places a golf ball on a tee that will be tracked using an external launch monitor or an electronic bail connected, by a wireless link, to the glasses. The user can calibrate, i.e. center, the mixed reality display showing a mixed reality view overlaid on the real world view. The view can be calibrated by looking in the direction in which the bail is intended to be hit and selecting the calibration function, e.g., by using either a switch, voice commands, or head/eye movement input. Once the view is calibrated the displayed mixed reality images will lock to that virtual position and will stay in that position regardless of where the user looks. [0058] The mixed reality view includes various graphical elements that enhance the user experience. These graphical elements may be three-dimensional (3D), animated graphics showing a variety of targets that the user can aim at while hitting the ball at the range. After the user hits the bail and looks up in the direction of the ball, the display will show a graphical ball track along with animated graphics that react to and change based on the bail position along with scoring information. The display may also show various AR images/data, such as ball speed, shot distance, etc.

[0059] The Virtual Range mode also allows for multiple players in a group. Other users connected as a group will also be able to see the user's shot data along with current score. The user will be able to see shot and score data of the other players connected in the group.

[0060] The Virtual Caddy mode provides the user with ball tracking and location data while golfing on a real golf course. Figure 1 1 shows an example of the user's view through the mixed reality glasses while in the Virtual Caddy mode, with the HUD elements 1 101 - 1 108 displaying bail tracking data superimposed over the user's real world view of a golf course visible when the user looks up after hitting the bail.

[0061] In one embodiment, the user operates the system by first turning on the mixed reality glasses 100 of the Virtual Caddy mode, then places on a tee an electronic ball that is electronically connected, by a wireless link, to the glasses. The user can calibrate, i.e. center, the mixed reality HUD by looking in the direction in which the ball is intended to be hit and selecting the calibration function, e.g., by using either a switch, voice commands, or head/eye movement input. Once the HUD is calibrated the display will lock to that virtual position and will stay in that position regardless of where the user looks. The real world view is fully visible in ail view directions, with the HUD data overlaid on the real world view. After the user hits the ball and looks up in the direction of the ball, the HUD display will show a graphical ball track along with AR images/data that can include, for example, bail speed, club speed, ball distance, carry distance launch angle, bail spin, flight time and score. After the ball lands the user may initiate a ball location finder function that will show a HUD target, arrows and audio cues to help the user locate the ball in the real world. In some embodiments, users connected as a group can see the user's shot data along with current score, and the user can see shot and score data of the other players connected in the group.

[0062] The Virtual Course mode allows the user to play a simulated golf course, complete with 360° panoramic views of a virtual golf course (Figure 9) and includes a simulation and display of the ball tracking and location data. In one embodiment of the Virtual Course mode, the user can hit the ball into a net or at a driving range. The user operates the system by first turning on the mixed reality glasses 100, then places a regulation ball on a tee that will be tracked using an external launch monitor connected, by a wireless link, to the glasses. The user can calibrate, i.e. center, the mixed reality display showing a virtual view of a specific golf course hole that the user has selected. The view can be calibrated by looking in the direction in which the bail is intended to be hit and selecting the calibration function, e.g., by using either a switch, voice commands, or head/eye movement input. Once the view is calibrated the display will lock to that virtual position and will stay in that position regardless of where the user looks. The real world view is visible when the user looks down at the ball, and the virtual course view is visible when the user looks up and is visible throughout a full 360-degree view. After the user hits the ball and looks up in the direction in which the bail was hit, the display will show a graphical bail track along with data that can include, for example, bail speed, club speed, ball distance, carry distance launch angle, ball spin, flight time and score, overlaid on the virtual course view. After the bail "lands" (as computed/predicted by the system), the user may select a function that virtually transports them to the new bail location. The user then places another regulation ball on the tee and hits a shot that is from that virtual location.

[0063] The Virtual Course mode also allows for multiplayers in a group. Other users connected as a group will also be able to see the user's shot data along with current score. The user will be able to see shot and score data of the other players connected in the group. The mixed reality glasses may have microphones and speakers to allow the user to converse live with other players.

[0064] The Virtual Course mode may also allow the user to play against one or more virtual players. For example, while playing in the Virtual Course mode, the user can have the ability to play against a virtual Tiger Woods or other professional golfer. The virtual player avatar will be visible along with his/her shots and score. The user can play along with this virtual player though a full game of golf. Other game options may be a hitting distance contest at a virtual driving range or other mini-games, such as a putting challenge or a hitting over the water challenge (e.g., at the island green, hole #17 at Sawgrass). The system will allow the user to virtually move about the scene in three dimensions.

[0065] The Virtual Instructor mode provides training feedback in the form of, for example, a moving 3D avatar visible to the user in the virtual environment, which is essentially a virtual shadow user. Normally the Virtual Instructor mode will operate within the context of one of the other three modes, i.e., Virtual Range, Virtual Caddy or Virtual Course. For example, the user can invoke the Virtual Instructor while playing a round of golf in the Virtual Course mode. When operating in the Virtual Instructor mode, a virtual instructor provides feedback to the user, based on the shot data, in any of various forms, such as visual motion feedback, video replay of the user's avatar, video playback of stored images for instruction and audio feedback (e.g., recorded or synthesized speech) for short explanations and suggestions. The virtual instructor may respond to the user's questions posed verbally or through another user input device.

[0066] Figure 13 is a drawing showing the user's view through the mixed reality glasses of such a 3D (shadow user) avatar 1300 displayed during the Virtual Instructor mode. The shadow user avatar 1300 allows the system to visually demonstrate proper setup and form for a particular golf shot. The shadow user avatar 1300 can include highlighted and/or colored regions indicating key areas of concentration that should be followed in order to replicate the proper form for a particular golf shot. The Virtual Instructor mode may use the shadow user avatar 1300 to provide instruction and feedback.

[0067] The system configuration for Virtual Instructor mode, an example of which is shown in Figure 12, can include several components used to determine the user's body movement and technique. In this mode there may be additional sensors attached to the user's body, and/or a video camera to record the user's movement, both of which may be used to determine the user's motion and technique. The user's body movement and technique can be compared to ideal standards, and feedback can be provided to the user, through audio, video and/or computer- generated graphics, showing movements or techniques that can be improved.

[0068] In Virtual Instructor mode, the user may attach various sensors to their equipment and/or body. These sensors may include a golf club sensor 601 that measure the golf club position and acceleration, head band sensor 602 that measures the user's head position and angular/linear acceleration, shoulder sensors 603 that measure the user's shoulder position and movements, waist sensors 604 that measure the user's waist movements, leg sensors 605 that measure the user's leg position and movement, and a pressure sensitive mat or sole inserts worn within the shoes with sensors 606 that measure the user's individual foot pressures,

[0069] The various sensors, such as foot pressure sensor, are related to the user's weight shift throughout the golf swing, which is a key aspect to proper technique resulting in optimal golf swings and bail distance. The virtual instructor software gathers the raw sensor information, analyzes it to determine the users overall motion and technique and compares this to an ideal motion. Any discrepancies between the ideal motion and the user's motion can be displayed to the user along with instructions, either audio, video or computer-generated graphics, on techniques that may be employed to help the user practice motions and positions that better match the ideal.

[0070] The Virtual Instructor mode may also include a standard, stereo or advanced technology camera 607 that is used to motion capture the user's movements. This motion capture, in addition to or in place of the body sensors, may be used to determine the user's movements, both overall and for key locations on the user's body. This data is compared to the ideal movement and feedback is provided to the user, using audio, video or computer-generated graphics, along with instructional information that the user may use to practice improving their movements and overall technique.

[0071] As noted above, the system's mixed reality glasses 100 can include a plurality of sensors that include, but are not limited to, positional, rotational and acceleration feedback. This feedback may be used the by golf simulation software to determine the position, orientation and speed of the user's head before, during and after the shot. This data may be used in the training portion of the simulation to monitor for proper head orientation and stability and to provide both visual and audio feedback of proper and improper movements.

[0072] There are several advantages to the system over the existing technology. The mixed reality glasses 100 provide a small, portable visual feedback system that is not available with systems utilizing projection screens or larger computer monitors. The mixed reality glasses 100 provide a virtual environment that is properly oriented to the user's field of view and orientation, which is not available with existing systems using large for smaller portable displays. The mixed reality glasses 100 provide sensor feedback that can be used to properly train the user to keep their head still and to keep looking at the ball during the shot, which is not available with existing systems.

[0073] The Virtual Instructor mode provides instructional and audio and/or video feedback based on the result of hitting the ball. The feedback is based on the ball tracking data and may also include additional data sensors attached to the user's body to provide further data points for the instructional algorithms. Virtual Instructor can be used with a net or at a driving range or golf course. A video recording/sharing functionality can also be used,

[0074] In one embodiment of the Virtual Instructor mode, the user can hit the bail into a net, at a driving range or on a golf course. The user's body is tracked using sensors that are attached to specific locations on the user's body, such as the head, shoulders, waist, legs and feet and/or the golf club. Additionally, or alternatively, tracking the users body movement may be done by using a video camera.

[0075] The user operates the system by first turning on the mixed reality glasses 100, then places a regulation ball on a tee that will be tracked using an external launch monitor or an electronic bail connected, by a wireless link, to the glasses. The user can calibrate, i.e. center, the mixed reality display showing a virtual view of a specific golf course hole that the user has selected or only a graphical HUD overlaid on the real world view. The view can be calibrated by looking in the direction of where the ball is intended to be hit and selecting the calibration function, e.g., by using either a switch, voice commands, or head/eye movement input. Once the view is calibrated the display will lock to that virtual position and will stay in that position regardless of where the user looks. When using a Virtual Course view mode, the real world view is visible when the user looks down at the ball and the virtual course view is visible when the user looks up and is visible throughout a full 360~degree view. After the user hits the bail and looks up in the direction of the ball, the display will show a graphical ball track along with data that can include, for example, ball speed, club speed, ball distance, carry distance launch angle, ball spin, flight time and score overlaid on the virtual course view or the real world view depending on the mode the user has selected. [0076] After the ball is hit a virtual three dimensional avatar representing the user is displayed in the mixed reality view. This avatar replays the user ' s golf swing and body movement, and the user is able to view this avatar mixed reality view from any angle. The Virtual Instructor logic analyzes the users swing and body movement and highlights less-than-optimai body and swing movements on the user's avatar. The virtual instructor describes the movements that were less than optimal, provides instruction on techniques to improve and shows an updated avatar playing back the optimal swing and body movements for the user to see the optimal form.

[0077] The machine-implemented operations described above can be implemented by programmable circuitry programmed/configured by software, or entirely by special-purpose circuitry, or by a combination of such forms. Such special-purpose circuitry (if any) can be in the form of, for example, one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), system-on-a-chip systems (SOCs), etc.

[0078] Software to implement the techniques introduced here may be stored on a machine-readable storage medium and may be executed by one or more general-purpose or special-purpose programmable microprocessors. A "machine- readable medium," as the term is used herein, includes any mechanism that can store information in a form accessible by a machine (a machine may be, for example, a computer, network device, cellular phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), manufacturing tool, any device with one or more processors, etc). For example, a machine-accessible medium includes recordable/non-recordable media (e.g. , read-only memory (ROM); random access memory (RAM); magnetic disk storage media; optical storage media; flash memory devices; etc.), etc.

[0079] The term "logic", as used herein, means: a) special-purpose hardwired circuitry, such as one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable logic devices (PLDs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), or other similar device(s); b) programmable circuitry programmed with software, such as one or more programmed general-purpose microprocessors, digital signal processors (DSPs) and/or microcontrollers, system-on-a-chip systems (SOCs), or other similar device(s); or c) a combination of the forms mentioned in a) and b).

[0080] Any or all of the features and functions described above can be combined with each other, except to the extent it may be otherwise stated above or to the extent that any such embodiments may be incompatible by virtue of their function or structure, as will be apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the art. Unless contrary to physical possibility, it is envisioned that (i) the methods/steps described herein may be performed in any sequence and/or in any combination, and that (ii) the components of respective embodiments may be combined in any manner,

[0081] Although the subject matter has been described in language specific to structural features and/or acts, it is to be understood that the subject matter defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described above. Rather, the specific features and acts described above are disclosed as examples of implementing the claims and other equivalent features and acts are intended to be within the scope of the claims.