Utah Patent of the Month – March 2021

Golf balls get lost pretty easily due to their size and purpose. A few methods of detecting them have been introduced including electromagnetic signaling and GPS systems. However, these methods are limited to tracking golf balls that have preemptively been equipped with tracking features and assumes those features have not been broken. TechnoImaging, LLC has developed two novel tracking methods using image processing techniques.

Their first method involves temperature changes and thermal imaging. You could either cool or warm up the golf balls using a portable cooler/warmer. Simply take the ball from the container and golf as usual. The treated ball will have a temperature easily detected using a thermal imaging camera. A detectable temperature change lasts for 30 minutes or so before matching the surrounding ground again. The thermal imaging camera is programmed to search for golf balls and provides a display unit to enhance location finding. 

The second method uses electromagnetic radiation in much the same manner. The ball is treated with a frequency low enough to penetrate organic matter (ex. leaves) but high enough to retain resolution of the ball. A similar imaging technique would be used to track the ball for easy locating. These methods have the advantage of working on any golf ball regardless of manufacturer and does not require exhaustive physical alteration before use.

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