Professional and amateur golfers alike may soon be able to improve their game with the assistance of augmented reality (AR) if a new patent from Nike is any indication. The patent, filed under patent number US20170351295 in August, applies to a wearable display that, when linked up to a connected Golf Ball, will provide real-world statistics on the ball's motion. Specifically, the glasses are designed to track the ball's speed, trajectory, spin rate, and distance traveled. Of course, in the patented design, the display would also show the average statistics of a stroke, including how far a ball is generally carried – which is the amount of time it spends in the air – in addition to the average total distance traveled and spread.
Better still, the associated drawings appear to show that the AR-enabled glasses will track the remaining distance to the pin and even provide suggestions on which club should be used for a shot – as well as providing a risk assessment for each club's potential use for a particular shot. Better still, using data on the golf course itself, wearer's can get a better assessment of the layout of the green once they've managed to get on. Finally, the heads-up display also appears designed to provide game statistics, with associated drawings showing readouts of strokes taken for the round, average putts taken per hole, and the wearer's score, respectively. All of the information, as per the patent, is displayed in real-time, similar to how Google Glass works from a user's perspective.
If Nike does move forward to create a fully-realized product with this patent, that information would undoubtedly be useful to those who play the sport. Most notably, all of the information the system tracks would serve at least one purpose served by a caddy. Namely, the technology would be able to provide personalized information and recommendations that let a golfer adjust strategy and approach to better suit their own playing strengths and weaknesses, based on their average performance. However, it bears mentioning that simply obtaining a patent does not mean that any such product will ever find its way onto store shelves or into the hands of consumers from Nike.