Cassapa: Augmented Pool


No good at pool? Never fear, Cassapa is here! [Alex Porto] has created an augmented reality system for playing pool, and it means almost anyone can make those cool trick shots!

Ca-what? Cassapa (“caçapa”) is a Portuguese word for pool table pocket. The software works by placing a webcam directly above the pool table for image recognition. Dedicated software interprets the image and identifies the position of the holes, borders, balls and the cue which can then be used to calculate game physics. A projector then projects the forecast physics and allows you to make tiny adjustments — updated in real-time — to make the perfect shot.

Unfortunately, having a big projector shining down on your pool table won’t exactly make anyone believe you’re actually good at pool. Although if you could combine this with Google Glass or any other vision augmenting goggles… that would be pretty cool. Well, you’d still be terribly dishonest and a cheater — but anyway, take a look at the video after the break.

This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen augmented pool though — what if you hooked it up to a robot?


  1. Eirinn says:

    Google glass here it comes :P

  2. wardy says:

    Does anyone remember that episode of Quantum Leap where they do this exact thing? Sam had jumped into the body of an ace pool player. Al programmed Ziggy to illuminate Sam’s next shot with a holographic laser that only Sam could see (in the same way that only Sam could see Al. What a great show that was.

    Great project.

  3. wardy says:
  4. six677 says:

    Pretty sure this is a commercial product somewhere, I recall seeing it on the gadget show although it was probably much more expensive than this solution.

  5. Infinite93 says:

    The projection could make a good training tool, but in practice, looking just from above the computer can’t accurately model the force applied, english, or ability of the player to actually drive the cue straight until after the stroke is made. This isn’t going to turn a novice into a pro, but playing on a table with this equipped could teach you a lot about your stroke and technique. It would be like a version of the ‘golf swing analyzers’ in the high end stores.

    • Greenaum says:

      Not sure what “English” is, despite being one. But things like spin would surely be beyond this, you can’t tell that unless you know exactly where he’s gonna strike the ball. And even then surely pool or, more so, snooker, is impossible to model exactly, or else it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Everyone can extrapolate straight lines and angle of incidence = angle of reflection.

    • Robot says:

      Agreed. When I used to play pool a few times a week it took a long time for me to gain the cue control to the point that attempting even a simple bank shot was worthwhile.

      Calculating the angles isn’t the hard part in my experience. I like the project a lot though.

    • m72 says:

      Can’t forget the bumper conditions either, just looking at their test table i’d imagine they are working with really flat impact conditions and the ball isn’t going to reflect the same off of better bumpers.

      One of the more annoying things about the game is that if you get a wrecked table you have to spend a bit learning how the angles work on it.

  6. Lui says:

    I don’t know why hackaday keep posting stuff that is closed source! There are similar comercial products! Just create more posts advertising other company peoducts!!

  7. Makes me think of the absolutely fantastic pool game I bought on Steam during the last sale: Pool Nation. Gorgeous graphics, and amazing physics. Certainly a long way from ‘Billiard Parlour’ on the Macintosh, back when I was a kid. ;D

  8. Luis Carlos says:

    Nothing new. This onde looks better.

  9. garym53 says:

    LOL – that stupid and annoying phrase “after the break” that HaD insists on using for some obscure and nonsensical reason, actually makes sense in this case, sort of. ;-)

  10. Stephen says:

    Ill be that you could flood the table with IR and the Webcam would be able to see better, while being able to lower the visible light for better projection.

    Just a thought…

    • aporto says:

      Not exactly. The camera also needs to “see” the colors (balls, cue, etc). That wouldn’t be available with just IR light, unfortunately.

      • camerin says:

        I don’t think the computer needs to identify which ball you are choosing to strike, it just needs to identify the cue, the direction of the cue, the balls on the table and edges of the table, also the relative size of everything and any skew due to incorrect camera placement. After that who cares if you a striking the 8 ball in to the 1 ball? the math should be ~ the same (the cue ball is slightly larger or possibly more dense if you are on an coin op table)

        • Galane says:

          On coin op tables the cue ball is the same size as the other balls. It has chunks of steel in it and an electromagnet is used to pull it onto the return track instead of it going down to storage.

  11. Shakipu says:

    You could get a better tracking with IR by stuffing the cue with IR leds and using a Wiimote to track it.

    • camerin says:

      yes, but as any pool player will tell you, changing the cue will change the game. by changing the weight and the balance you will be changing how you strike the ball.

  12. Alan says:

    TV coverage of a pool game could use this to anticipate where a shot will go. To plot it back as a cheat, you’d need some form of UV or IR laser to plot lines on the table, and some form of glasses to detect said laser. I don’t think that is a function of Google Glass [yet]…

  13. NullOp says:

    Nice, but it’s much more satisfying when you can make those shots on your own. None of those shots were particularly difficult.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,705 other followers