Factors in Choosing a Golf Simulator – Sensor Technology

Sensor Technology:

Sensor technology really breaks down into, how the raw data from the swing is collected and communicated to the system to determine how the golf ball was hit and how it is shown on the course. This breaks down into three major categories of sensors: Radar, Camera and Infrared based systems. In my personal experience infrared and camera based systems tend to be more accurate and will give more feed back through the swing analysis software.

Radar:

The data is collected in much of the same way a radar gun collects its data. In my option it is not very accurate and is poor for giving feedback for a swing.

Camera:

Camera technology can be great due to the fact all of the data is collected when the ball passes through the view of the cameras (a small area) and requires no sensors in the ground. I would recommend this system to the people who cannot dedicate the floor space to an infrared based system (sensors in the ground or walls).

Infrared:

Infrared systems will give the best feedback for club fitting and swing analysis. I have found the best simulators use infrared based technology and I prefer an in-ground sensor. The data for a swing analyzer is most accurately taken at the point where the club meets the ball, again advantage in-ground infrared. The in-ground sensors make putting much more realistic. The draw back is the floor space which is required for these types of systems.

Putting:

Putting can be the most frustrating part of playing on a golf simulator, much of this is due to the placement of the sensors. On a radar based system the sensors are usually placed above the ball striking area. Many golfers’ upper body will block the sensors and this tends to lead to miss reads by the sensors. Camera and infrared systems are the best for putting, but beware there are many simulators where the sensors will impede the path of the putt. Again creating errors and misreads, better have those mulligan’s ready. Be weary of systems which have any sensor on the putting surface, the ball will not travel over the sensors accurately. The best system for putting is an in-ground infrared based system.

Sensor technology will have a major impact on the overall performance and playability of your simulator.

There are also two more articles on the topic of “Three Main Factors in Choosing a Golf Simulator” Please feel free to contact me through the website if you have any questions on golf simulator sensor technology. My company, Sports Entertainment Specialists, Inc., sells and services golf simulators for TruGolf and Visual Sports. We offer many different options in the exciting world of simulated gaming.

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Pervasive Computing Technology – A Glimpse of the Next Generation Computer

What is pervasive computing? It all started in 1991 when Mark Weiser envisioned the next generation computer that weaves themselves into their environment. The next generation computers make themselves invisible and intuitive to use. Computers disappear into the background. If you’re a Star Trek fan, think of the computers in this science fiction series, and you’ll get the idea.

The term coined by Weiser, ubiquitous computing, is now synonymous to pervasive computing.

Computers as they exist today do not integrate themselves into our environment. You’re aware of the fact that you’re using a computer. The PC sits on top of your desk. You carry a laptop or pocket PC around. You need to acquire certain skills in order to use them, e.g. if you want to use a spreadsheet, you have to learn to use it.

Weiser envisioned an environment where computers are integrated into the environment in such a way that users are not even aware of the computers, or that they’re using one. The computers disappear and become unobtrusive.

To illustrate the point, Weiser and his colleagues invented 3 types of devices: a tab, a pad and a board. The devices have no individualized association in they way that you associate a PC or laptop to a particular user, e.g. you can grab a tab and use it without having to figure out how you’re going to configure or personalize it to your needs. A tab is a handheld device and can be easily carried around. You can use it to access your email, chat, or to pop up a reminder for you to ask a colleague to confirm next week’s seminar if you run into him in the hallway. You’d have dozens of this in your environment.

A pad is kind of a digital version of a paper. You can spread it on your desk in the same way you spread papers on your desk.

The digital board replaces today’s whiteboard. When a group of people gather in a room, the system detects that they belong to a project group and automatically downloads the previous discussion points on the board. You can write on the board using a digital pen while sitting a few meters away from it – just point and write.

Pervasive computing integrates computers and a smart environment, and blends them into the background. This technology is changing the way we work, live, and interact with each other.

Let’s look at a few more examples of applications of this technology.

Cowboys on horsebacks herding cattle might one day become a feature of a bygone era as the introduction of virtual fences allows farmers to herd their cattle from the comfort of their homes. The virtual fence is downloaded to the cows by transmitting GPS coordinates to head-collars worn by the cows. The dynamic virtual fences are moved along desired trajectories. The collars are equipped with a Wi-Fi networking card, a Zaurus PDA, an eTrex GPS unit and a loudspeaker that transmits occurring sounds (for example, roaring tigers, barking dogs) when a cow strays from the intended path. This multi-disciplinary project, the brain child of a biologist, is made possible in collaboration with computer scientists.

Sensor technology can potentially play an important role in search and rescue operations by first responders, i.e. emergency personnel, such as firemen, paramedic, and police, who arrive at the scene immediately after an event (e.g. a fire, an earthquake, a building collapse) occurs.

Firemen wear tags to allow easy tracking of their movement in order to coordinate search and rescue operations more effectively. The firemen can be informed if a particular section of a building is found to be unstable and is about to collapse, and is directed to evacuate it immediately. A wireless vital sign monitor is attached to victims found trapped so that their condition can be monitored in order to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention as soon as they are rescued.

This non-invasive sensor monitors vital signs such as heart rate, oxygen saturation and serum chemistry measurements. The vital sign monitor helps the paramedic team determine which victims are in more critical conditions so that they can prioritize medical attention to more severely injured victims. The application and architecture required to support this emergency response application is being developed under the CodeBlue project at Harvard University, USA.

Wireless technology is also used in healthcare. The Arrhythmia Monitoring System (AMS) is a medical telemetry (telemedicine) system that makes use of wireless technology to monitor patients suffering from arrhythmia. Among the complications that arise from arrhythmia are the loss of regular heartbeat and subsequent loss of function, and rapid heartbeats.

AMS provides a means for healthcare professionals to continuously monitor a patient’s electrical cardiac rhythms remotely even though the patient is not at the hospital. This technology allows patients to be in the comfort of their homes without jeopardizing their health. It is also useful for monitoring the heart functions of astronauts who are more susceptible to cardiac dysrhythmias when in space.

The examples illustrate the use of the technology in very different areas. There is no limit to the type of applications made possible by this technology. In the not too distant future, we will see this technology providing increased security, convenience, and ease of information access in our home and workplace.

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Why We Can’t Live Without Sensors

Introduction

Do you know how important and prevalent sensors are to our environment? Sensors can be found everywhere performing multiple tasks. Sensors are used in commercial, industrial, and personal applications. They come in all shapes and sizes from motion detectors that signal the employment of lights to counters that signal radiation loss.

What sensors do

Sensors’ main purposes are to alert a person or system. It may be in order to generate a new function or to signal a problem. A majority of sensors regulate and control existing operations. For instance, various speed and position sensors assist in automotive engine management. Adjustable linear and output current sensors monitor AC or DC current for different electrical or industrial systems. Proximity sensors aid in aircraft and marine applications.

Multiple uses of sensors

Other sensor types include photoelectric sensors for detecting objects with light; liquid level sensors and debris monitors used for aircraft; and temperature and pressure meters which work with industrial, commercial, medical, and processing systems. Places visited, our means of transportation, the mechanisms that surround us, etc. are affected by sensors. We rely on sensors regularly as part of engaging in our everyday lives.

Thermometers and barometers indicate the weather, oil and fuel gauges keep cars running, and proximity sensors turn lights on and off. Think about the operations that we take for granted like automated doors, elevators, ovens, and refrigerators. They all incorporate the use of sensors into our lives, making sure pathways stay open, food stays fresh, and appliances are dependable.

The future

Sensors will play a major part in our futures. Smart homes are already prevalent in the Eastern hemisphere and will soon become more so in the United States. Think about living in a home that virtually takes care of itself. Wakeup and the shower will know what temperature to make the water, lights will know what level is most comfortable, T.V. and radio volumes will understand what volumes are reasonable for you, the thermostat will know when to lower and higher itself, etc. The future will be a place of efficiency and convenience due to sensor technology.

Conclusion

We would not be able to live with as much ease without the existence of new technology. Sensors have already brought us a long way and will continue to facilitate a technologically savvy future. Sensors are making the way we do things bigger, better, and more convenient. Where would we be without them?

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