PERFORMANCE MONITORING IN A SHOOTING SPORT USING SENSOR SYNCHRONIZATION
Embodiments provide mechanisms and methods for measuring shooting performance in multiplayer environments. These mechanisms and methods include advanced sensor technology that enables a portable console to determine player performance by monitoring actions of the player and activity at the basket using sensors associated with one or more players and a basket. The ability to determine player performance by monitoring actions of the player and activity at the basket makes it possible for coaches and players to measure levels of play, build teamwork among multiple players, improve and maintain skills, select players to meet game situations and team requirements, make decisions on player roles, and use playing environment space more efficiently.
CLAIM OF PRIORITY
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/819,868, entitled PORTABLE WIRELESS SENSOR SCORING WITH IMPROVED SHOT DETECTION, by William M. Klein, filed Jul. 11, 2006 (Attorney Docket KLEIN-01002US0).
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright whatsoever.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The current invention relates generally to measuring shooting performance, and more particularly to a mechanism for real time wireless sensor scoring.
There is an outstanding need in amateur and professional sports to identify players with the potential for development and to provide measurement and training tools to improve performance of existing players. No where is this more true than in the shooting sports, such as basketball, tennis, hockey, golf and others, in which the outcome of an entire game can be determined by the performance of a single player taking a shot.
Currently, the selection, development, training and evaluation of players is almost completely dependent on the experience and observations of coaches and scouts and based upon observing actual play. These simply methods, however, lack any quantitative measure of shooting proficiency.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Embodiments provide mechanisms and methods for measuring shooting performance in multiplayer environments. These mechanisms and methods include advanced sensor technology that enables a portable console to determine player performance by monitoring actions of the player and activity at the basket, which can comprise a hoop and a net, using sensors associated with one or more players and at a basket. The ability to determine player performance by monitoring actions of the player and activity at the basket makes it possible for coaches and players to measure levels of play, build teamwork among multiple players, improve and maintain skills, select players to meet game situations and team requirements, make decisions on player roles, and use playing environment space more efficiently.
In one embodiment, the invention provides a system for measuring shooting performance. One system embodiment includes a plurality of first sensors to detect shots taken and a plurality of second sensors to determine shots made. In a first embodiment, a sensor comprising an accelerometer is used to determine shots taken by sensing vibration. The accelerometer may be disposed at a basketball basket, for example, to detect vibration from the player (also referred to herein as a participant) taking a shot. One suitable accelerometer is the H48C by Hitachi Ltd. of Japan. In a second embodiment, a material that will be fixed onto the inside of the basketball net senses a ball passing through the basket. One such material suited to this application is Quantum Tunneling Composites (QTC) material, such as provided by Peratech Ltd., of North Yorkshire. As used herein, the term “sensor” is defined as any device for detecting an event that takes place in the shooting environment. The term sensor is intended to be broadly construed to include a single device, i.e., a detector, or a plurality of devices, i.e., an emitter and detector, and other configurations of devices. Alternative embodiments may include one or more of optical sensors, ultrasonic, e-fields, mechanical alternatives, strain gages and magnetic field sensors or combinations thereof.
A portable console is communicatively coupled with the first sensor and the second sensor to receive data and determine performance of a player based at least in part on the data received. In embodiments, the portable console may be realized using one or more of a cellular telephone, a personal data assistant (PDA), an MP3 compatible device, such as an IPOD by Apply Computer, Inc., or the like. The portable console may be coupled with the sensor(s) using one or more of Bluetooth™, wireless telephony, infrared (IR) sender/receivers and other communications mechanisms are contemplated.
Embodiments comprising sensor technology can provide one or more of the following benefits: (1) ease of retrofitting to an existing basketball system, (2) operable outdoors under various temperatures and environmental conditions, (3) low power consumption and battery powered, (4) low interference with a ball in play, rim or backboard, (5) low cost, (6) sufficiently robust to reduce potential damage by contact with a ball or a player, and (7) reliable to better than 95% accuracy.
Optionally, a synchronization mechanism enables the console to “learn” which sensors are being associated with the console for play. The synchronization mechanism can enable the console to determine performance exclusively for players being monitored by the sensors associated with the console. Thus, sensors associated with multiple players may interact with one or more consoles in a common playing area free of interference. Multiple sensors that determine shots taken and shots made may be associated with a single console in order to facilitate team practice. Optionally, a third sensor disposed in a player's shoe to monitor player activity. Player activity may include steps taken, calories burned, jumps made and the like.
In an embodiment, one or more location sensors are included that automatically detect the position of the player when shots are taken and record positional information along with information about the shot. This ability to obtain information to measure levels of play makes it possible to improve skills, select players to meet game situations and team requirements, and make decisions on player roles.
While the present invention is described herein with reference to example embodiments for measuring basketball players' performance, the present invention is not so limited, and in fact, the real time measurement techniques provided by embodiments of the present invention are broadly applicable to a wide variety of shooting sports. As used herein, the term shooting sports is intended to be broadly construed to include any sport in which a player makes a shot, including without limitation basketball, tennis, hockey, water polo, polo, lacrosse, golf and other shooting sports. Thus, when describing embodiments exemplified by way of basketball, a basket refers to a target and/or gate. In other sports, such a target and/or gate is referred to using a descriptor such as goal for hockey, water polo, polo and lacrosse, hole for golf, or goal post for football, etc.
In an alternative embodiment, the second sensor includes a counter lever attached to a basketball rim or backboard to track shots made, or an opto-electronic sensor attached below the basketball rim or backboard. Proximity sensors can also be employed as well as other types of optical, electrical and mechanical sensors. In still more embodiments, the second sensor can take the form of tension activated sensors connected with or between the basketball hoop and the basketball net. Such tension activated sensor can comprise, for example, a rope pull switch (“RPS”). Rope pull switches are well known and commonly used as redundant safety switches. Such switches can be miniaturized to trigger on small applied tensile loads. For example, one or more loops of the basketball net can be connected to the rigid, or semi-rigid basketball hoop by way of the one or more tension activated switches. The second sensor can be employed to send a signal indicating a successful shot in response to tension applied to one or more of the tension activated sensors caused as the basketball passes through the basketball net. In such embodiments, it may be desirable to form a basketball net using loops connected such that a hole of the basketball net through which a basketball travels has a minimum diameter smaller than a diameter of the basketball, thereby causing tension on one or more loops connected to a tension activated switch as the basketball is briefly suspended from the basketball net while the hole deforms to receive and allow the basketball to pass through the basketball net. While use of such switching signals can allow the second sensor to be functionally integrated with basketball nets having a classic aesthetic look (i.e. including loops forming a net), the second sensor can be a electrically communicative textile functionally integrated with a basketball net having a non-classic aesthetic look (i.e. not including an appearance of discrete loops). QTC textiles as described above can be employed in such applications. Alternatively, the basketball net can include a sleeve formed of a fabric sensor. The sleeve can resemble a net, or alternatively can have some other shape, such as that of a funnel. The sleeve can include one or more switches adapted to indicate that a basketball has passed through the sleeve. Such switches can respond to compressive or tensile stress, as desired. One such fabric sensor suited to this application is ElekTex™ available from Eleksen Group, ple of Bucks, United Kingdom. Another such fabric sensor suited to this application is Fibretronic Ltd., of North Yorkshire.
In an embodiment, portable console 101 optionally includes a synchronization mechanism that enables the console to “learn” that sensors 102 and 103 are being associated with the console 101 for play. A sensor 103 will synchronize with a console 101 through a wireless interface by holding down a particular button on the sensor and the console simultaneously for 3-5 seconds as illustrated by
Embodiments can include one or more location sensors that automatically detect the position of the player and record positional information. In one such embodiment, a pressure sensitive grid comprising a plurality of cells indicating location is disposed over the playing field in order to detect the location of the player when making a shot. In another embodiment, an infrared sensor matrix is used to superimpose a plurality of location cells comprising a grid over the playing field. In a yet further embodiment, a camera coupled with a range detection device can be used to detect the location of the player with respect to cell locations in the playing environment. Examples of cells comprising a location grid is discussed in further detail below with reference to
In one embodiment, a wireless headset 104 is worn by the player during play to communicatively couple the player to the console 101. Using voice recognition functionality in conjunction with the headset 104, the player can input voice commands, including type of shot to be taken, number of shots to be attempted, a time period for shooting and so forth without interrupting play. Further, in one play mode, the player can call out the types of shots using the headset 104 as the player takes the shot.
In one embodiment, a video camera 105 is operatively disposed to record shots the player takes. The video camera 105 can be constantly operating or can be triggered using a command from the wireless headset 104, a motion sensor (not shown) directed at the player, or by input of a command at the console 101 by a coach or another player.
In one embodiment, the vibration sensor and counter lever include wireless RF receiver communication links to the console 101. The console 101 (
Shooting location detection may be achieved using various techniques in embodiments of the present invention. For example, in one embodiment, a pressure sensitive grid comprising a plurality of cells indicating location is disposed over the playing field in order to detect the location of the player when making a shot. Such techniques are especially useful when cells vary in size and shape, such as the embodiments illustrated by
An “Automatic synchronization” facility enables multi-player competition mode, in which multiple sets of sensors can be associated with a particular console to encourage team practice.
Encoding schemes may be used in some embodiments to simplify storage of shot types in databases or other storage mechanisms. For example,
Some embodiments provide the capability to view the results of play in graph or other tubular formats. For example,
Various embodiments will include other functions readily apparent to persons skilled in the art but not mentioned here for brevity.
In one embodiment, a path made by the ball during a shot is tracked by the console 101. The path information may be used to locate the ball as it goes through the hoop or may be used to track the path of the ball in order to analyze the shooter's technique. One technique for tracking the ball path during play involves adding a radio frequency identification (“RFID”) chip to the ball. The RFID chip can signal a tracking unit integrated into or cooperatively coupled with the console 101, enabling the console 101 to track the path of the ball. In another technique, the video camera 105 and image processing software may be used to track the path of the ball during the shot. An exemplary arc tracking analyzer for use in the present invention is available from Pillar Vision, Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif. (www.noahbasketball.com) and by Radar Golf, Inc. of Roseville, Calif. (www.radargolf.com).
In other aspects, the invention encompasses in some embodiments, computer apparatus, computing systems and machine-readable media configured to carry out the foregoing methods. In addition to an embodiment consisting of specifically designed integrated circuits or other electronics, the present invention may be conveniently implemented using a conventional general purpose or a specialized digital computer or microprocessor programmed according to the teachings of the present disclosure, as will be apparent to those skilled in the computer art.
Appropriate software coding can readily be prepared by skilled programmers based on the teachings of the present disclosure, as will be apparent to those skilled in the software art. The invention may also be implemented by the preparation of application specific integrated circuits or by interconnecting an appropriate network of conventional component circuits, as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.
The present invention includes a computer program product which is a storage medium (media) having instructions stored thereon/in which can be used to program a computer to perform any of the processes of the present invention. The storage medium can include, but is not limited to, any type of rotating media including floppy disks, optical discs, DVD, CD-ROMs, microdrive, and magneto-optical disks, and magnetic or optical cards, nanosystems (including molecular memory ICs), or any type of media or device suitable for storing instructions and/or data.
Stored on any one of the computer readable medium (media), the present invention includes software for controlling both the hardware of the general purpose/specialized computer or microprocessor, and for enabling the computer or microprocessor to interact with a human user or other mechanism utilizing the results of the present invention. Such software may include, but is not limited to, device drivers, operating systems, and user applications.
Computing system 1100 comprises components coupled via one or more communication channels (e.g., bus 1101) including one or more general or special purpose processors 1102, such as a Pentium®, Centrino®, Power PC®, digital signal processor (“DSP”), and so on. System 1100 components also include one or more input devices 1103 (such as a mouse, keyboard, microphone, pen, and so on), and one or more output devices 1104, such as a suitable display, speakers, actuators, and so on, in accordance with a particular application. (It will be appreciated that input or output devices can also similarly include more specialized devices or hardware/software device enhancements suitable for use by the mentally or physically challenged.)
System 1100 also includes a computer readable storage media reader 1105 coupled to a computer readable storage medium 1106, such as a storage/memory device or hard or removable storage/memory media; such devices or media are further indicated separately as storage 1108 and memory 1109, which may include hard disk variants, floppy/compact disk variants, digital versatile disk (“DVD”) variants, smart cards, read only memory, random access memory, cache memory, and so on, in accordance with the requirements of a particular application. One or more suitable communication interfaces 1107 may also be included, such as a modem, DSL, infrared, RF or other suitable transceiver, and so on for providing inter-device communication directly or via one or more suitable private or public networks or other components that may include but are not limited to those already discussed.
Working memory 1110 further includes operating system (“OS”) 1111 elements and other programs 1112, such as one or more of application programs, mobile code, data, and so on for implementing system 1100 components that might be stored or loaded therein during use. The particular OS or OSs may vary in accordance with a particular device, features or other aspects in accordance with a particular application (e.g. Windows, WindowsCE, Mac, Linus, Unix or Palm OS variants, a cell phone OS, a proprietary OS, Symbian, and so on). Various programming languages or other tools can also be utilized, such as those compatible with C variants (e.g., C++, C#), the Java 2 Platform. Enterprise Edition (“J2EE”) or other programming languages in accordance with the requirements of a particular application. Other programs 1112 may further, for example, include one or more of activity systems, education managers, education integrators, or interface, security, other synchronization, other browser or groupware code, and so on, including but not limited to those discussed elsewhere herein.
When implemented in software (e.g. as an application program, object, agent, downloadable, servlet, and so on in whole or part), a learning integration system or other component may be communicated transitionally or more persistently from local or remote storage to memory (SRAM, cache memory, etc.) for execution, or another suitable mechanism can be utilized, and components may be implemented in compiled or interpretive form. Input, intermediate or resulting data or functional elements may further reside more transitionally or more persistently in a storage media, cache or other volatile or non-volatile memory, (e.g., storage device 1108 or memory 1109) in accordance with a particular application.
Other features, aspects and objects of the invention can be obtained from a review of the figures and the claims. It is to be understood that other embodiments of the invention can be developed and fall within the spirit and scope of the invention and claims. The foregoing description of preferred embodiments of the present invention has been provided for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to the practitioner skilled in the art. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments and with various modifications that are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the following claims and their equivalence.
1. A shooting sport measurement system, comprising:
- a first sensor to detect an attempted shot taken by one or more participants;
- a second sensor to detect a successful shot by one or more participants; and
- a console communicatively coupled with the first sensor and the second sensor to determine performance of the one or more participants based at least in part on the attempted shot and the successful shot; and
- wherein the first sensor includes a sensor adapted to detect vibration and the second sensor includes a sensor adapted to detect an object passing a target.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the console is a portable console.
3. The system of claim 2, wherein the portable console includes at least one of a cellular telephone, a personal data assistant (PDA), and an MP3 compatible device.
4. The system of claim 1, further comprising,
- a third sensor to determine an effort;
- wherein the third sensor is removably connected with the one or more participants.
5. The system of claim 4, further comprising the third sensor disposed in a shoe of the one or more participants.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the first sensor comprises an accelerometer connected with a rigid or semi-rigid structure near the target to determine the attempted shot based on vibration of the rigid or semi-rigid structure.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein
- the target is a basketball hoop having a basketball net extending therefrom; and
- the second sensor is a textile form sensor associated with the basketball net.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein:
- the target is a basketball net; and
- the second sensor includes a material fixed onto the inside of the basketball net to sense a ball passing through the basketball net.
9. The system of claim 1, further comprising a detection mechanism that detects a position of the one or more participants.
10. The system of claim 9, wherein the detection mechanism is one or both of an infrared sensor that detects a position of the one or more participants using a 2-D grid and a camera having a ranging device.
11. The system of claim 9, wherein the detection mechanism is a pressure sensor grid disposed on at least a portion of a playing field.
12. The system of claim 11, further comprising:
- a plurality of cells superimposed onto at least a portion of a playing field, wherein the plurality of cells indicates a player's position when a shot is taken.
13. The system of claim 11, wherein each of the plurality of cells are sized according to scoring relevance.
14. The system of claim 11, wherein each of the plurality of cells is associated with an alphanumeric naming convention facilitating ease of use.
15. The system of claim 1, further comprising:
- a video device for capturing a video record of the attempted shot;
- wherein the video device is activated by detection of the attempted shot.
16. The system of claim 1, further comprising:
- a wireless headset for capturing an audio command from the one or more participant for controlling a recording of information.
17. The system of claim 9, wherein the detection mechanism includes visual player location indicia that are adapted to be viewed by a console operator such that the console operator can manually enter the indicia into the console.
18. A computer based method for measuring shooting sports performance, the method comprising the computer implemented steps of:
- determining whether a shot is attempted;
- determining whether an attempted shot is successful;
- determining a location of a participant taking the attempted shot;
- receiving information about the participant; and
- determining performance of the participant based on the determining steps.
19. A shooting sports measurement system, comprising:
- a sensor to determine an attempted shot,
- a sensor to determine a successful shot,
- a detection mechanism that detects a position of a player when the attempted shot is determined;
- a console, the console communicatively coupled with the sensors and the detection mechanism to receive data and determine performance of the player; and
- wherein the sensor to determine an attempted shot includes at least one sensor disposed to sense vibration and the sensor to determine a successful shot includes at least one sensor to sense a ball passing through a target, thereby enabling the console to determine player performance by monitoring at least one of actions of the player and activity at the target.
20. The system of claim 19, wherein the detection mechanism includes visual player location indicia that is adapted to be viewed by a console operator, such that console operator can manually enter a location into the portable console.
21. The system of claim 19 wherein the detection mechanism automatically detects a position of a player when the sensor determines an attempted shot is taken by the player.
22. The system of claim 19 wherein the detection mechanism automatically detects a position of a player when the sensor determines a successful shot is taken by the player.
23. The system of claim 19 wherein the portable console includes at least one of a cellular telephone, a personal data assistant (PDA), and an MP3 compatible device.
Filed: Nov 17, 2006
Publication Date: Jan 17, 2008
Inventor: William M. Klein (Los Altos, CA)
Application Number: 11/561,342
International Classification: A63B 69/00 (20060101);