AR Pool is Cool: Laval Virtual Day 1

Virtual Ear Pulling @ Laval Virtual
Virtual Ear Pulling @ Laval Virtual

What I wouldn’t do to provide you live coverage from Laval Virtual!  After waking up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the only morning train to Laval, France (train strike today), and consequently a double espresso, hot chocolate, another espresso and two Cokes later, I’m now in the press room trying to sort through the brain explosion of what I’ve experienced so far at Laval Virtual 2010. 

My top pick is much influenced by my university and post-grad billiard playing days.  The French (or maybe it’s my phase in life) aren’t much into billiards, and you certainly can’t listen to Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken” while you shoot if you do find a table.  So I was particularly excited when I saw a REAL billiard table at this virtuality conference.  Electrical and Computing Engineer (and I assume avid pool fan) Samuel Jordan from Queens University is the master mind behind this augmented reality billiard concept. 

The set-up for “AR Pool” is simple: a billiard table, computer, and overhead camera and projector.  What makes the magic is behind the set-up.  There’s this nifty physics simulator that suggests the best shot given the location of your cue ball in relation with the other balls and pockets that makes it magic. 

I’ve mixed together a little Flip video of my chat with Samuel and my try at pool playing.  You’ll note from my unsteady hand the effects of too much caffeine.  😉  When the pocket lights up, that means you’re well positioned to sink the ball and should shoot.

How do you like this little AR bijou? 

What would you like for tomorrow’s post?  Serious industrial stuff or more fun?  There’s a full pickin’! 



  • Brilliant idea. Could it be applied to other sports, like tennis or football?

    PS: nice hat too.

  • Yes the hat is something. Quite the fashion here at Laval Virtual!

    I think the same concept could be applied to tennis easier than football- less players. It’d have to be an indoor facility.

  • Julien

    This is interesting and impressive !

  • Kate

    Hi Julien, glad you like AR Pool too. Yesterday there was a real crowd hanging around the table. A few folks told me that AR Pool reminded them of an old episode of Quantum Leap. The one where the character Sam Beckett’s travels take him to a serious pool match. Fortunately Sam has something like AR Pool to help him make his shots. One of my friends asked the Sam from AR Pool if this TV episode insprired the creation of the application, but the answer was no. Here’s more on Quantum Leap:

    Bon weekend! Kate

  • Chris

    this an impressive program. I am interested in learning more about the product. Could you have send me some contact information for who I need to talk to about this device?

  • Interesting product.I’m a longtime member of the pool community.Is it possible to receive some contact information for Samuel Jordan from Queens University?Perhaps he may like to field some questions about real world applications.

  • Kate

    Hi Jim, cool! I don’t recall him giving me his card . . . I’ll see if there’s a way to reach him for you. best, kate

  • Tom

    What has happened to this idea in the past few years? Has this turned into a real product yet that can be purchased? If not, is that the plan?