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?

48 thoughts on “Cassapa: Augmented Pool

    1. I have already stated that If I’m confronted with google glassholes, I’ll punch those things of their faces. It goes without saying that when I see google glass in the snooker hall, I’ll repeatedly hit them with a cue stick.

          1. Would the necessity arise to hit somebody in a snooker club, I would not start by searching for a keyboard seeing as the chance that I’m holding a weighted cue is pretty big.

    2. Violence aside, doing this for Glass or headset things the task becomes much more complicated in the 3d space from the user’s perspective. Can it do 3d imaging? So add some kind of distance calculations based on ball sizes? and track head movements to adjust the display, or for the adventurous some SLAM into the mix for each shot.

      If it is feasable we might see stuff like that banned, nobody would have the chance to get hit.

      Also pool isn’t just about hitting the ball, it helps to know how to hit the ball.

    3. Goggle Glasses, to obvious, use an ear piece that uses a rising and falling tones to tell you when you’ve lined up the shot, but I think the hardest thing would be setting up the camera in the pool hall without someone seeing you. :)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Not to mention throw, which is entirely dependent on the power used and can displace the object ball several inches.
        The term “english” meaning “side” is very annoying. It probably started out as a derogatory term to define fancy play by brits or something to that end.

        1. We English tend to play snooker on grown-up size tables. The guy who taught me C used to play pool in his local pub league with a broom-handle with a rolled-up beermat on the end of it.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. ;-)

      1. 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)

        1. 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.

  5. 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]…

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