Pool is simple if you know your geometry. And physics. And have good hand-eye coordination. And while none of those seem that hard on their own, they can be a little tough to put together. But with a little help from tech, it becomes as easy as just keeping your eyes open.
PoolLiveAid is a project by Luis Sousa, Ricardo Alves, and J.M.F Rodrigues of University of the Algarve, Portugal. And with its on-the-fly game processing, it aims to make sinking balls and practically an afterthought for even the most unskilled players. Making use of a ceiling mounted camera, the system reads in the borders of the table, location of the cue ball, and angle of the pool cue to make the sort of calculations a real shark makes in his head. Then, it spits out the likely path on the table with a projector.
There’s still room to mess up, of course. If you smack that ball at the bottom it’s still going to go flying off the table and an overhead camera will have a hard time predicting that. Not to mention complex shots need to account for a few different balls. Still, something like this would totally take the trajectory guesswork out of the game for particularly novice stick-wielders and trajectory-visualizers. Right now the project is just a beta for a conference, but hey, maybe we can get a Google Glass app someday. [h/t Reddit]