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Case Studies
Bowling with Red Bowling Ball

Augmented Bowling Tracking and Display

Keeping up with the pros

Brunswick Bowling & Billiards was developing a new concept in bowling systems called Bowler Vision. This new system was to include a computerized color display of the trajectory, velocity, and position of the bowling ball during a game — a digitally augmented system running alongside the real-life players going for the strike.

The challenge was that previous attempts at using lasers, ultrasonic, sonar, and infrared beams had failed to meet the accuracy, precision, and cost goals of the system.

Solution

In Phase 1, MTSI developed a 4-bit, black and white proof-of-concept system. This design showed that orange-colored bowling balls tended to blend into the wood background of the typical bowling lane — which could become a detection problem. Lighting and reflections had to be carefully controlled.

Bowling Lanes Brunswick

A new color system was then developed with these results. Software algorithms then detected the orange balls, and could switch to a different tracking mechanism when located. Automatic calibration routines periodically adjusted the system to the current lane lighting.

Impact

Leveraging our experience with bowling tracking technology, MTSI produced hundreds of bowling ball tracker systems while Brunswick set up production lines and test facilities — increasing efficiency and lowering manufacturing costs.

A key portion of the Bowler Vision system became reality.