Topgolf Callaway Brands has been granted a patent for a method and system that uses optical and radar data to determine the location of an object in flight, such as a golf ball. The technology compares the data with an expected ball launch to verify its accuracy. GlobalData’s report on Topgolf Callaway Brands gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Topgolf Callaway Brands, Adjustable weight putters was a key innovation area identified from patents. Topgolf Callaway Brands's grant share as of February 2024 was 89%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Ball launch verification system using radar and camera data

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11883716B2) outlines a method and system for determining the trajectory of an object in flight, specifically focusing on ball launches. The method involves creating an optical model of the object using two-dimensional image data from a camera and a radar model using radar data. By combining these models, three-dimensional location information of the object in flight is produced and compared to expected ball launch data. The system then verifies or rejects the object as an actual ball launch based on the deviation from the expected trajectory by a predetermined threshold amount.

Furthermore, the patent details the process of computing angles between rays determined from the three-dimensional location information to check against expected angles. Adjustments to the expected angle and timing are made based on additional data obtained during the object's flight. After verifying the object as a launched ball, the system can extrapolate a three-dimensional path backward to the launch position, estimate launch time, and compute launch speed. The system consists of a camera, radar device, and computers configured to perform the aforementioned operations, with the optical model aiding in identifying and tracking the ball in two dimensions. The patent also specifies that the object in question, in this case, is a golf ball, and the camera used can be a single digital video camera, while the radar device can be a phased array radar device.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.